Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol are under investigation after reportedly staging a fake kidnapping and telling members of a girl’s leadership camp that their friend was sold into sexual slavery.
According to reports, the teenage girls were in Tallahassee for a government leadership camp ran by the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Florida.
Unbeknownst to anyone at the camp, six female troopers decided to abduct a girl from her group while she was on her way back to her dorm on the last night the teens were attending.
The troopers then allegedly hid the girl and terrorized other camp participants with stories she had been kidnapped by human traffickers. Not even Camp Counselor Cameron Carlyle was informed about the “drill.”
“We did the count off and we got to eight, and we realized Katrina was missing,” Carlye said. “I still will never forget that feeling of, it’s totally my fault, now I have to tell her parents that she was taken.”
According to Carlyle, the troopers loudly screamed at her and the other girls during the ordeal bringing many of them to tears. She said one of the teens had been involved in a real sex trafficking case when she was younger.
The troopers revealed that the missing girl was safe 30 minutes after the mock abduction. Carlyle said the news did little to clam the teens’ nerves however, and many were left scared.
“I think I had 17 girls who did not sleep on the last night of girls state [camp],” she said. “[They were] completely traumatized.”
The incident calls into question the appropriateness of drills conducted on children. In recent years, schools across the country have been inundated with active shooter drills staged by police for the purported purpose of preparing children for real life scenarios.
According to a survey by the Government Accountability Office, two thirds of U.S. schools now hold some form of these active shooter drills.
Parents of the children at the Tallahassee government leadership camp are understandably upset. The incident is now under review by the Florida Highway Patrol who are calling what transpired a “training exercise.”
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