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Child ID Kits: Keeping Louisiana's Children Safe

Hammond, LA- Child ID Kits: Keeping Louisiana’s Children Safe

Across the country, over half a million children go missing each year. Even worse, 25% of all human trafficking cases include a child, and children from minority populations are three times more likely to be abducted or go missing. Of course, if you suddenly found yourself in this unimaginable and horrifying situation, the statistics would be worse than irrelevant – they would be reducing your child to a number, on a list you’d never dreamed they’d be on.

No, in such an impossible situation, the only number that would matter is 24: the first twenty-four hours that can make all the difference in the world. That is time that must be used wisely, which is why the National Child ID Program was created in 1997 following the abduction and death of Amber Hagerman (the namesake for the Amber Alert).

Their child ID kit includes an inkless fingerprinting system, a DNA collection tool, and areas to document your child’s physical description and identifying marks, as well as sections to list phone numbers for chosen medical professionals and place a current photograph. None of this is designed to be stored within any sort of database. Instead, this is a tool for parents to keep privately within their home, only to provide to law enforcement should the unthinkable occur – when every second counts.

That is why the Office of the Attorney General Jeff Landry has worked to provide these child ID kits, at no expense to parents, for all Louisiana elementary school students this year. This gift of safety will be distributed through Sheriff Daniel Edwards’ office in Tangipahoa Parish. In this way, the Attorney General and the Sheriff are continuing their efforts to not only keep our communities safe but also protect our children. And through our partnership, we hope to share in the long-running success of this initiative to help parents reconnect with their lost children. For the past 25 years, the National Child ID Program has distributed over 75 million kits nationwide; and we pray those distributed across Louisiana will be effective tools for our neighbors, should the worst ever happen.

Of course, nothing can ever truly prepare a parent for this sort of event, but by being able to quickly provide vital information to law enforcement, the hope is that a missing or abducted child can be safely located with far greater efficiency, speed and success. That is why awareness of this safety initiative and free community resource is the first step towards keeping families in Louisiana together.