The effort has been coordinated between numerous federal agencies and is considered the first time a U.S. president has made it an administration priority.
The announcement was made by the Marshals Service on Friday and Director Donald Washington discussed the efforts on Fox News this week.
“These are kids that are in particular danger as a result of either being victims of violent crime or because of who they are. For example, some of them may be in the middle of gang affiliations or in the midst of drug abusers or in the middle of some bad situations involving people who have violent tendencies and things of that sort,” he said.
Often times, the children are sex trafficked in an effort for those in control to get money for drugs.
“There are a lot of them in the country at any given time,” he continued. “For example, today I looked at the number, and we have 21,000 active missing persons under 18 cases open today. So there are a lot of them.”
It comes as several U.S. Marshals’ operations in recent weeks led to the recovery of dozens of missing and endangered children.
On Thursday, the service announced that 11 endangered children were located around New Orleans, Louisiana, after an operation lasting over a week. Operation Summer Rescue, which ran from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, involved several other agencies, including the Nashville, Tennessee, police and the FBI office in New Orleans. It worked to recover suspected runaway children.
The service over the past two months carried out other operations around the United States, including in northeastern Ohio, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Georgia, and elsewhere over the past month or so. In those operations, more than 100 children deemed endangered or missing were recovered.
In Ohio, officials said on Sept. 21 that 35 children were found.
“Of the 40 missing cases referred to the Marshals Task Force only five cases remain open. Members of the task force and its local partners will continue to work over the next several weeks to bring these five remaining children and other children to safety,” the Marshals Service stated.
–Metro Voice and wire services