By Karen Stokes
Children are the world’s most valuable resource and the most important role of being a parent is keeping children safe. According to the FBI, in 2016 there were 465,676 National Crime Information Center (NCIC) entries for missing children. Next week a program called Operation Kidsafe will hold an event in Milwaukee to offer tools parents need to keep their children safe.
Operation Kidsafe is a free digital fingerprint and photo safety program. This program empowers parents along with their children, education, awareness and preparation for safety. In 16 years, the program has safe guarded over a million children in America.
The free, week-long family event is an opportunity for parents to obtain vital information to assist police in case of a child abduction. Operation Kidsafe will take place at David Hobbs Honda, 6100 N. Green Bay Ave, Monday, June 12 through Friday, June 16,10am to 6pm.
Operation Kidsafe began 16 years ago by Founder, Mark Bott who has vast experience concerning children’s safety.
“I started out with volunteer work and I found out pretty quickly that parents didn’t have that much information, but the criminals did,” Bott said.
Bott met John Walsh, a child advocate who founded the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the 1990’s. Bott worked with Walsh for four years on America’s Most Wanted television program as a program advisor, and he was also instrumental with AMBER Alert becoming a law.
“Here’s the key to our program, it’s totally free and it’s totally private so parents don’t even have to give the name of their child,” said Bott. “The parents take home what’s called a lifetime safety bio-document that’s AMBER Alert ready which has the child’s 10 digitized fingerprints and a photo and on the back of the form, safety tips are provided.”
The bio-document is not only for the safety of children but is a practical idea for adults in the special needs community and anyone living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia who may be at risk.
Bott made it clear that all data is private and no records or databases are created and best of all, the entire process takes about 60 seconds.
The free, family friendly event will have activities each day and families will have an opportunity to meet neighborhood heroes from the local fire department and K-9 unit and learn how they protect the community.
“We want the parents to start the conversation with their kids on safety and what a great way to do it. It starts with these fun events,” Bott said.
You can find more information the Operation Kidsafe event and activities on davidhobbs.com