Charlotte County Teen Receives FDLE Young Hero Award

On October 29th, 2019, at 8:34 am, Charlotte County Deputies responded to Kenesaw Street, Port Charlotte, Florida to investigate allegations that a person attempted to lure a middle school student into his vehicle while she was walking to school.

Hailey Canfield, a student in Charlotte County, reported a SUV that had pulled up beside her and the driver began asking her questions through an open window. The driver then told her to get into the car and she said, “No” and ran away from the vehicle. 

Sheriff Prummell and Hailey Canfield

During the incident, there was an adult witness that was watching the vehicle and when the situation did not look right began walking over to the girl, but the vehicle drove off. 

She reported the incident to an adult that was nearby and contacted the Sheriff’s Office.  Based on the description of the driver and vehicle provided by the student and witness, deputies were able to locate and identify the driver. 

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers provide safety classes to all K-12 students assigned to their schools.  Stranger Danger and Internet Safety classes begin at the kindergarten Level and advance through twelfth grade. 

The School Resource Officer curriculum contains up-to-date material provided by the Florida Attorney General’s Cyber Safety Program for Middle and High School students, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s NetSmartz Internet and Personal Safety material utilized for kindergarten through fifth grade students.  The programs not only provide educational material but empower students on how to protect themselves in dangerous situations.

Miss Canfield was able to recognize a dangerous situation and seek assistance from the closest available adult and then contact the Sheriff’s Office for assistance.  She was able to provide accurate details of not only the vehicle but also the suspect resulting in the Sheriff’s Office being able to locate the subject quickly, preventing any additional incidents.

We are proud of the bravery Miss. Canfield exhibited on that October day. She will be celebrated today through an online ceremony hosted by FDLE. This annual event is held to remember Florida’s missing children, recognize the state’s efforts in child protection, and educate Floridians on child safety and abduction prevention.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Missing and Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse Advisory Board invites you to watch a video broadcast of this year’s Florida Missing Children’s Day Ceremony on Monday, September 14, 2020. Due to the ongoing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, this year’s event will be shown on The Florida Channel and FDLE’s Facebook page on Monday, beginning at 10 a.m.

The pre-recorded video will feature many of the events that usually accompany the annual ceremony, including honoring the families of our missing and the individuals who made significant contributions to child safety in Florida over the past year. The video will also be accessible via FDLE’s Twitter page.

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