"While driving home from work at approximately 8:30pm, I noticed a young boy wearing a backpack and walking alone on Colossal Cave Rd," said Ms. Hudson. "As both, a mother and a DCS Investigator, I immediately knew that the child was unsafe, as he could have been abducted or injured from one of the elements within the rural area."
"Initially, the child was very reluctant to speak with me and informed me that he was fine; however, after gently talking to him, identifying myself and reassuring him that I was only interested in his safety, he was more receptive," continued Ms. Hudson. "Once I identified that I worked for DCS, I asked the child if he would feel more comfortable if I showed him my state badge, which he informed me he would. So I promptly pulled my badge out and explained to him my job duties, which is to ensure that children are safe from harm. This appeared to build his trust in me and he began answering simple questions. Through my training and experience interviewing children, I was able to ascertain who he was and why he had left the home without permission. During this time, a second Vail resident was in contact with law enforcement and a Pima County Sheriff Deputy quickly responded."
"My instinct, training and experience as a DCS Investigator provided me with the ability to recognize a child in danger; however, anyone could have done what I did and helped a child in distress," added Ms. Hudson. "Child safety is a community responsibility and it starts by not being hesitant to act when you see a child in unsafe situations. Even if it means just talking to the child, listening to what they have to say and contacting law enforcement or the DCS hotline if you feel a child is in need of help."