FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A former police officer has started a grassroots push to rewrite the rules for children in danger.
His efforts come after the death of teenager Kaytlynn Cargill, 14, last month in Bedford. Police handling the case have faced subsequent scrutiny for not issuing an Amber Alert when she was reported missing.
But what many people don’t realize, is that Cargill’s situation didn’t meet the current standards for an Amber Alert. Regardless, the decision not to issue one has upset hundreds of people, who have signed a petition to take a fresh look at that standard.
“Just really kind of hit me that maybe something needs to be changed because there wasn’t an Amber Alert,” said former police officer and chief, Charles Clark, who started a petition to change Amber Alert guidelines.
When Cargill was reported missing in June, there were posters, press releases and social media pleas for help. But after her body turned up two days later in an Arlington landfill, even law enforcement veterans (like Clark) felt there was something missing, from the search for the missing teen.
More than 900 people thus far, have added their names online, in support.
Clark met with Bedford police on Thursday about the idea, a department he makes clear, followed all the current alert rules in the Cargill case.
“On the other hand, you’ve got to do something to change that, do something to make a difference to adapt with the times,” he explained.
When it comes to cases such as Cargill’s, Clark isn’t suggesting exactly how he would change the alert. But people have made suggestions for entire new alerts, or something for specific age brackets.
Clark’s goal is to entice more agencies to share ideas, then ask legislators to make it happen.
“It needs to be changed. Something needs to be added. It needs to be adapted, whatever, but something needs to happen,” said Clark.
It was two weeks ago today that Cargill’s body was discovered just three miles from home.
Police are still waiting for more information from the Tarrant County medical examiner on how she died, and told CBS11 there aren’t any new updates they could share in the investigation.