Updated: Friday, 07 Dec 2012, 5:44 PM EST
Published : Friday, 07 Dec 2012, 5:44 PM EST
NEWS HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Getting the word out about a missing child is crucial, from the moment a child is reported missing to when an amber alert is issued, but as News 8's Erin Logan discovered, frustrating delays are very much a part of the process.
The goal is of course to get the amber alert issued as fast as possible in an abduction case. But a lot of groundwork must be covered to make it happen. Hartford's case is ongoing, so News 8 asked another department to help walk us through it.
Just after 4 o'clock yesterday police got a call that a car was stolen from the Main Street Mini Mart in Hartford. Police say they knew within a minute that a 2-year-old boy was in the car and they rushed to the scene. Around 5:30, an amber alert was issued.
News 8 wanted to know exactly what all the steps are to get this alert issued once the officer arrives on scene to take the report.
"They send that information to the NCIC, the National Crime Information Center, that goes through police dispatch, they in turn send the teletype to state police, the state police then through their services issues the amber alert, so it's a fairly quick process," Officer David Hartman of New Haven police said.
But, there's no clear cut answer.
"It's certainly not going to be minutes. You're talking about the time it takes not only for the officer to arrive, they have to investigate it," Officer Hartman said.
Hartman says depending on how quickly and accurately the caller presents the information to police could have an impact on how quickly the amber alert is issued. In this case, Hartford police won't offer up any details on camera.
News 8 does know there must be an abduction reported to police for them to issue an amber alert. News 8 went back to the mini mart to ask the manager what he witnessed.
"He said my car got stolen and he started freaking out, so I told him to call police," Brian Stewart said.
So, he called police in less than a minute would you say," News 8's Erin Logan
"Yes, but it took police about ten minutes to get here," Stewart said.
He says the father ran across the street to place the call and he never heard what was said on the phone.
"I think police did their best in this type of situation at hand. They did what they could as fast as possible," Stewart said.
Stewart says the father is a regular customer. He says he's never seen the suspect before but bottom line, don't leave your kid in the car.
You saw what this parent went through and there's no telling how long it could've taken to find the boy if the suspect's friend hadn't brought him to police.