Washington, D.C.– Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) introduced the National Child Identification Act, HR 4172, which aids law enforcement by encouraging parents and guardians to proactively collect and store their children’s sensitive identification information at home. When DNA samples are stored safely at home, law enforcement officers can spend the crucial first hours during a missing-person case searching for the child, rather than searching for the child’s DNA samples.
“As a former FBI agent, I understand that when a child goes missing, every second counts in the search to bring them home,” said Fitzpatrick. “Having the necessary DNA samples ready on standby allows law enforcement to spend their time tracking down a child’s location, not their fingerprints. I am proud to introduce this legislation with Congressman Norcross to give parents and law enforcement the tools they need to protect our nation’s kids.”
“In America, one child goes missing every forty seconds. As a father and grandfather, that’s an unsettling statistic,” said Norcross. “We need to have smart, pre-emptive policies in place that best support law enforcement, and that’s why Congressman Fitzpatrick and I are introducing this common-sense bill to provide millions of parents and guardians with a way to be proactive in case the unthinkable happens. No one wants precious police time wasted searching for a fingerprint instead of for a missing child.”
The National Child Identification Act helps expand upon an existing initiative that provides child identification kits to parents and guardians. Under the Act, grant funding from the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 could be used to provide for the kits. Additionally, the Act helps law enforcement by ensuring parents have a child’s identification information immediately available for investigators.
“Nothing is more important to Labor than their members and nothing is more important to our members than their children,” said Richard Trumka, President of AFL-CIO. “I appreciate that Congressmen Norcross and Fitzpatrick are leading the effort to protect our nation’s children. We are all family.”
Originally recognized by Congress in 2001, the National Child Identification Program is a community-service initiative that partners with labor organizations, NFL teams, businesses and law enforcement to provide parents and guardians with child identification kits.
“Nothing is more important to the country than our children, they are our future,” said Don Nehlen, former West Virginia Head Coach. “This ID Kit can be filled out in about 5 minutes, stored in the home and can be provided to authorities in the case of an emergency.”
“It is a great initiative that I have been involved with since 1997. This is another positive way that we can protect one of our most important natural resources that we have and that's our children,” said Coach Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions and longtime program board member.
“There is nothing more precious than our children and there is nothing more important than protecting them. Every 40 seconds a child is reported missing,” said Tony Dungy, former NFL Head Coach. “This program’s inkless child ID Kit provides parents and guardians with a clean, convenient way to record their child’s fingerprints and physical characteristics on a card they keep at home.”