Wisconsin will soon launch an initiative to help law enforcement locate missing children by sending out identification kits to parents across the state.
Officials say that nearly one million identification kits will be sent to children across the state in an effort to assist law enforcement in missing persons investigations.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul recently announced that the state would cooperate with groups like the Green Bay Packers football team, Alliant Energy, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Child Identification Program to issue 975,000 ID kits.
“It can help provide an investigative lead to law enforcement that is working to find missing kids,” Kaul said.
The kits, which will be free for families, ask parents to collect specific information such as physical characteristics and fingerprints of their children. The kits are kept at home and, if needed, can help facilitate investigations by law enforcement.
Included in the kit are an inkless fingerprint card, a DNA collection site and an inkless applicator.
Kenny Hansmire, CEO of the National Child Identification Program, described the different components of the brochure kit.
“It’s height-weight information, fingerprints, a place for DNA, of course, medical information and a place for a picture. 80% of what law enforcement asks is in this card,” he said.
“It’s clear, and you put your finger in down on the card, and it has a chemical reaction with the card, and a black fingerprint will start to appear,” Hansmire continued.
According to the National Child Identification Program’s website, they are a community service initiative promoting the collection of ID information on children. The website states that an average of 800,000 children go missing each year in America.
Under the initiative, students K–12 across the state will receive the kits from their schools. Both public and private schools will distribute the kits.
Families can also add other details that are unique to their child that can help authorities more easily identify them.
Brown County Sheriff Todd Delain said the initiative could help with child abduction investigations.
“In a case where a child is abducted, the last thing they’re thinking about is where are my pictures, where do I find that information, to be able to just turn that over quickly is beneficial for us because time is of the essence in those situations,” the sheriff said.
Officials say that all personal information will not be entered into a government database and will be kept private and secure.
“This is a kit that you bring home, as a parent, you fill it out, and you keep it. It’s yours, and hopefully, you’ll never need it. But if you do need it, it’s there, and you can immediately turn it over to a law enforcement officer,” Delain said.