Attorney general's office, children safety campaign distribute identification kits
More than one-half of a million child identification kits are presently being distributed to help protect all students at locations across the state.
Jan. 13 was National AMBER Alert Day.
In recognition of the event, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, department of public safety commissioner Scott Duncan, American Football Coaches Association and the state sheriffs association announced the statewide effort to provide identity kits for every student in the public school system.
"A child's safety is our first priority," pointed out Shurtleff last Tuesday. "Seconds count when a child is taken and we need pictures and accurate information as soon as possible to help bring the child home.
The Utah Department of Public Safety and the American Football Coaches Association purchased the kits.
"The kits will be critical if a child is missing or abducted," indicated Duncan. "We hope every Utah parent takes the time to make sure their child's information is ready."
A total of 530,000 kits will be distributed to every county sheriff's office.
The county sheriff's offices will then give kits to all children in kindergarten to 12th grade.
The county sheriffs will receive additional help from local police departments, according to the attorney general's office.
The kits slated for distribution to students in the Carbon County area and at school districts throughout the state include:
â¢An inkless fingerprint identification card.
â¢Two sterile swabs for obtaining DNA.
â¢A self-laminating wallet card with a place for personal descriptors, a photo and a thumb print.
â¢An area on the back of the fingerprint card for physical descriptors, medical contact information, dental contact information and a recent photo of the child.
â¢Instructions for processing the kit.
"Parents should realize these kits are like an insurance policy you hope you never use," explained Ed Smart, father of abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart and national consultant for the American Football Coaches Association.
"When Elizabeth was taken, we had to scramble to find a photo, DNA and fingerprints. It is important to give law enforcement the tools they need," continued Smart.
Training continues to be an important part of the Utah AMBER Alert plan, indicated the Utah Attorney General's Office.
More than 250 federal, state and local law enforcement officers recently received a one-day training session on the child abduction response team procedure.
Utah currently as a statewide CART and several regional teams that can bring personnel and resources when a child is missing or abducted, concluded the attorney general's office.