|Posted:||January 26, 2023 09:41 AM|
|From:||Senator Camera Bartolotta and Sen. Scott Martin|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Child Reunification Act|
|In the near future, we will introduce the Child Reunification Act, legislation which will provide child identification kits to parents of students in kindergarten.
The Child Reunification Act is part of a national grassroots effort to expand child identification programs, a community safety initiative started by the American Football Coaches Association in 1997 in response to the abduction of Amber Hagerman, the namesake for the Amber Alert.
This proposal would build upon the success of the national effort by providing parents and guardians with a free identification kit for their child that they keep at home and hopefully never need to use. Each identification kit contains fingerprinting materials, DNA collection swabs and other resources to allow parents to easily record information about their child that can be used to help identify them. To be clear, the inkless in-home fingerprint and DNA identification kits do not enter a database, but are stored securely by parents in the case that their child would go missing.
Thirty-two states are working with child identification programs and have implemented a similar program. Most recently, South Carolina and Utah codified their programs in 2022. Across the nation, these efforts have been known as the Greene-Trumka Child Reunification Act, honoring the longtime support of Pittsburgh Steelers legend Joe Greene and the late AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Crime Information Center, there were 30,618 active missing person records for juveniles under the age of 18 as of December 31, 2019. More than 500,000 children in the United States go missing each year, that is one child every 40 seconds.
Our proposal offers a simple tool to families that allows them to keep critical information about their child secure at home which can have a real impact on law enforcement's ability to expediently locate a missing child.
Please join us and cosponsor this proposal as an important step in the daily fight to keep our children safe.
Introduced as SB460