WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) introduced the National Child Identification Act, H.R. 1764, 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.
“In America, one child goes missing every forty seconds. As a father and grandfather, that’s an unsettling statistic,” said Congressman 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.”
“As a former FBI agent, I know first-hand that when a child goes missing, every single second counts in the search to bring them home,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “Having the necessary DNA samples ready on standby enables our law enforcement to spend their invaluable time tracking down a child’s location, not their fingerprints. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Congressman Norcross to provide the millions of parents, guardians, and law enforcement across the nation the necessary tools they need to protect our children.”
The National Child Identification Act helps expand upon an existing initiative that provides child identification kits to parents and guardians. The bill creates a grant program to support Attorneys General with the resources to provide identification kits to the parents of every kindergarten and elementary school student. Additionally, the legislation 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.”
"I am proud to have joined Labor leaders, NFL coaches and athletes to provide millions of child Id kits to children across the country,” said International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) President Lonnie Stephenson. “This bill will allow us to continue to protect our nation's families."
“The International Union of Operating Engineers has been proud to work with the National Child ID Program to supply kits to our members and communities,” said Operating Engineers President James Callahan. “But reaching scale is critical, and we believe that now is the right time to dramatically ramp up the capacity of the program to reach more families.”
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.”
To read the bill text of the National Child Identification Act, click here.