McGruff, and AlertID offer technology and tips to help protect children
The FBI's National Crime Information Center has revealed more than 450,000 children under the age of 18 were reported missing in 2014. To address this issue, the National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog) and AlertID are teaming up to raise awareness, offer innovative mobile technology and important safety tips to help keep children safe.
On May 25, 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz (also known as the first missing child to appear on the side of a milk carton) disappeared from his New York City home on his way to school from the bus. The case received national attention and raised awareness about the importance of protecting children.
In response to this case, as well as other missing children cases, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 "National Missing Children's Day" to commemorate 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. "National Missing Children's Day reminds parents, family members, teachers, caregivers and our neighbors to make child safety a priority."
For AlertID founder Keli Wilson, 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 should be aware of the dangers in their neighborhoods and other areas that are important to them. AlertID is a free program and app that is available nationwide. Members enter the addresses of areas important to them, and a map shows members where local crime and sex offenders reside or work in those areas. Members also receive alerts when new sex offender data becomes available, as well as crime alerts in hundreds of cities nationwide. To become an AlertID member for free, or for more information, visit www.AlertID.com.
The National Crime Prevention Council and AlertID also offer other important prevention tips and resource information for protecting all family members. For more information, visit www.alertid.com/search/crimes-against-children.asp. For helpful information on talking to kids about abductions and strangers, visit www.alertid.com/search/teach-kids-about-strangers.asp.
If your child is missing, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement and then report the incident to National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).