Oct 22 2003

SHELBY, DeWINE, LINCOLN HOST KIDS’ SAFETY DAY

Three U.S. Senators today, in conjunction with the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), held the first annual Kids’ Safety Day in an effort to educate colleagues in Congress, along with their staffs and young children about a variety of important emergency safety tips.

U.S. Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), Co-chairs of the Senate Caucus for Missing, Exploited, and Runaway Children kicked off the Capitol Hill event, along with NCMEC President Ernie Allen.

“As a parent and as a member of this caucus, I am increasingly made aware of the growing vulnerability of our children,” Senator Mike DeWine said. “Child predators lurk on the Internet and the rate at which children are separated from their parents is alarming. Kids’ Safety Day will give us the opportunity to teach children Internet safety and offer them the option of being fingerprinted and receiving a photo ID card.”

“As a mother myself, I understand how a parent’s greatest fear is that a child will be abducted or run away from home,” Senator Blanche Lincoln said. “We must increase awareness of what could happen if a child goes missing. If Congress leads the way in making this problem a national priority, it can be the first step in a concerted effort on the part of lawmakers, communities, and law enforcement agencies to help find missing children and return them to their families.”

“As a grandfather of two young children, I have become more aware of the safety risks our kids face everyday,” Senator Richard Shelby said. “Kids’ Safety Day served a great purpose in giving local children the opportunity to be fingerprinted, obtain a photo ID card, and learn about internet safety. We were also able to provide Senators, Members of Congress, and staff with resources so they may spread the word to their constituencies about how to keep our kids safe. I applaud NCMEC for their assistance with this event, and I look forward to a continued partnership with them.”

Today’s open house featured a number of important programs and demonstrations. The U.S. Capitol Police provided a station for children to have pictures taken for Photo Identification cards, and offered a fingerprinting booth.

NCMEC also offered demonstrations on internet safety, forensic imaging, and demonstrated its LOCATER program– a cutting edge software program that enables law-enforcement agencies to rapidly distribute critical images and information about missing-child cases. The Center also offered demonstrations of its CyberTipline, with staff members on hand to discuss the program with children.