Headquartered in Calgary, the small but tech-mighty team at the Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) developed the rescu app for the Child Search Network, an important national resource that bridges the response gap for high-risk missing children cases that do not meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert.
“Imagine taping a poster about a missing child to more than a million telephone poles in less than five minutes,” said Amanda Pick, CEO at MCSC.
That’s the power of the Child Search Network, powered by social media and the rescu app. The app pairs databases and workflows developed by Microsoft with Esri's ArcGIS Hub technology to show open and active missing children’s cases on dynamic maps and pushes alerts to people in specific locations that a child is missing nearby. This helps further police investigations and alerts citizens in the area to be on the lookout.
According to Pick, MCSC has drawn strength from Calgary’s entrepreneurial community spirit, where citizens and companies come together to do things differently and make an impact. This innovation also speaks to the opportunity digital transformation presents for global solutions across diverse industries, as outlined in the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy.
“Thanks to Calgarians we’re answering some pretty big questions,” said Pick. “How do we work differently? How do we come together as citizens and corporations and police? Calgary has led this effort and we’ve now reached a profound moment where we are seeing a new model of cooperation working effectively toward an important result: no missing child in Canada who goes unseen.”
All 14,000 City of Calgary employees and every member of the Calgary Police Service are rescu app users.
Many Calgary companies have contributed to the success of MCSC, including the Calgary Foundation and TELUS. WestJet was one of its earliest partners. “Their gift of flight not only allows our team to investigate all over the place, but also allows for quick reunification, not just in Canada but internationally,” said Pick.
The network is already in use by many police services across the country and MCSC continues to work closely with the RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons & Unidentified Remains and the CACP to deliver this technology solution to all police services in Canada. MCSC also represents Canada alongside the RCMP in the Global Missing Children's Network.
“We seem to be larger than life, but that’s because we’re so well supported,” said Pick. “We’re a small but mighty team that’s experiencing global success thanks in part to the hard work of our technology partners, our corporate partners, and everyday citizens across the country.”
MCSC is reaching out to other tech companies in pursuit of disseminating case information more widely and quickly, with more accuracy. Tech giant Google has also supported MCSC, including through funding and volunteer support through a Board position.
The organization is now expanding the Child Search Network to scale and exploring ways to plug into other digital channels across Canada by involving more motor transportation companies, rideshares, rail and airlines.
Connect your workplace with MCSC at rescu.mcsc.ca. For the full story and more on opportunities at innovative companies who are embracing technology to solve global challenges in Calgary, visit the Live Tech, Love Life website.