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National Missing Children's Day: McGruff, AlertID raise awareness

by jmaloni

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Fri, May 23rd 2014 07:00 am

Mobile technology and tips help to save the lives of children

Statistics show 800,000 children are reported missing in America each year - more than 2,000 each day. To address this critical issue, The National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog) and AlertID are teaming up to raise awareness and offer innovative mobile technologies to help protect children.

On May 25, 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from his New York City home on his way from his bus stop to school. The case received national attention and raised awareness about the importance of protecting children. In response to this and other tragic events, President Ronald Reagan, proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children's Day in 1983. The event commemorates the commitment to help locate and recover missing children.

"Each of us needs to commit to helping locate and recover missing children or work as NCPC does to prevent children from going missing in the first place," said Ann M. Harkins, NCPC president and CEO. "Missing Children's Day reminds parents, family members, teachers, caregivers and our neighbors to make child safety a priority."

AlertID's free mobile app includes "My Family Wallet," which helps parents take and store recent pictures of and basic demographic information about their children that are stored only on the parent's mobile device. If the parent and a child become separated, the child's profile can be sent electronically from the mobile device to quickly aid authorities in their search when every precious minute counts.

AlertID founder Keli Wilson said being prepared can make a critical difference in protecting children. "National Missing Children's Day is a great opportunity to talk to our children about their safety and to encourage families to take action and be prepared before an emergency happens," she said.

Parents also can be aware of the dangers in their neighborhoods and other areas that are important to them by becoming members of AlertID. Members enter the addresses of important areas to them and are provided an easy-to-read map showing sex offenders residing or working in those areas. That same information is also available when they travel through AlertID's mobile app. Members also receive alerts when new sex offender data becomes available, as well as crime alerts in hundreds of cities nationwide. To sign up for a free AlertID account, or for more information, go to www.AlertID.com.

The National Crime Prevention Council and AlertID offer important prevention tips and resource information for protecting children. For more information, visit: www.alertid.com/search/crimes-against-children.asp. For helpful information on talking to kids about strangers, visit www.alertid.com/search/teach-kids-about-strangers.asp.

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