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AG Derek Schmidt urges President to support funds for National Child ID Program

Release Date: Sep 01, 2020

TOPEKA – (September 1, 2020) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is seeking President Trump’s support for federal funding to support state efforts to protect children from exploitation, abduction and human trafficking.

Schmidt joined 19 other state attorneys general in asking the president to support funding to purchase kits utilized by the National Child ID Program. More than 800,000 children go missing nationally each year including runaways and those who are abducted.

“This low-cost effort takes minutes for parents to complete but can be vital in helping to locate a missing child and bring them home to their families,” Schmidt said. “Expanding use of child ID kits is an effective way to give parents and law enforcement the tools necessary to safeguard our most precious resources.”

Since 1997, the National Child ID Program has distributed more than 54 million kits, allowing parents to collect and maintain physical characteristics, fingerprints and DNA of their children. No outside group collects, monitors or has access to the data unless parents choose to share it during an emergency when a child is missing. During his tenure, Schmidt has distributed Child ID Kits across Kansas at events including the Kansas State Fair, county fairs and other community organizations.

Bipartisan legislation was led by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania, and Donald Norcross, D-New Jersey, in 2019 in the U.S. House of Representatives establishing the National Child ID Act. It would amend federal law to allow state attorneys general to request federal grant funds to purchase kits for children in grades kindergarten through sixth. Each kit costs $1.76 per child. The National Child ID Program has asked Congress to set aside nearly $52 million in the next COVID-19 stimulus package to fund the purchase of 30 million kits.

“The threat of our kids being victims is more immediate than ever,” the attorneys general wrote. “Every time we receive an amber alert for a missing 1-year-old, it illustrates the critical need for this program.”

A copy of the letter can be found at https://bit.ly/3jAkDjp.

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