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What is Ryan United?

Ryan United is a private non- profit organization formed in memory of 8 year old Ryan VanLuchene, who was abducted and murdered by a repeat sex offender while playing in his back yard in rural Montana on August 31, 1987. Since that time, Ryan’s family has worked hard around the country to ensure that those criminals that prey on our children are held accountable for their crimes.  Ryan United has teamed with law enforcement, corrections and communities nationwide to provide solution based approaches that assist citizens in taking back their communities and help to keep them safe from those who want to harm our children.

NorthWestern Energy recently partnered with Ryan United to deliver important safety information through a program called

RU SAFE Community. Some of the areas of awareness include missing child response and prevention, cyber safety for kids and adults and the know and tell concept. Ryan United strives to bring communities together to establish plans to keep everyone safe and aware.

What is the RU SAFE Community Program?

The RU SAFE Community program was developed by Ryan United to bring safety tips and plans to communities across the country. The RU SAFE Community program utilizes a “town hall meeting” approach whereby the public can attend and receive information and materials about how to keep themselves and their children safe. Some of the topics discussed are responding to missing children in the community, sex offender awareness, cyber safety for kids and adults, and bullying prevention. In addition, an open discussion with attendees takes place to identify any safety issues affecting the community. Ryan United encourages community leaders and Criminal Justice Officials to attend the meetings and provide a local perspective to the attendees. This environment opens a dialogue between community members and community leaders. Lastly, Ryan United hopes to create a residual affect in the community by giving the community tools to build their own RU SAFE Communities Team, which will continue to discuss issues affecting the community and develop plans to keep each other safe.

What is the Know and Tell Concept?

As we go through our day-to-day lives we may see things happen that do not look right. For fear of “getting into someone else’s business” or rationalizing the incident away, ultimately may prevent a potentially serious situation from being reported. For example, Ryan United has been involved in assisting with and evaluating many child abduction cases from across the country. After reviewing these cases, we consistently found someone who saw something but did not report it because they either felt it was none of their business or thought it was not significant enough to report. The KNOW and TELL concept focuses on situational awareness and what to do if you see something that doesn’t look right.  First, the concept teaches individuals to be aware of what is happening around them and gives them tools to identify things that could potentially be harmful to someone.  Basically, KNOWING something isn’t right. Secondly, the concept teaches individuals to TELL or report the incident to someone. That someone could be a family member, a friend or a law enforcement officer.

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