Indiana kids in kindergarten and first grade will receive identification kits free of charge thanks to a $150,000 donation. The Walmart Foundation teamed up with the American Football Coaches Association and the FBI National Child ID program to make Hoosier children safer in cities across Indiana.
“It’s an initiative that touches all of us in our community,” said Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell, who was an integral part of bringing the ID kits to Indiana. As a member of the coaches association, he helped to put the program together.
Hoosier children in public and private schools in Indiana will get 162,000 kits, enough for every five to seven year old to have an identification kit.The kit includes a swab for DNA, an ink free fingerprint device, and information on the child’s physical characteristics. The kit will be kept at home by each child’s parent.
In the event that an Indiana child comes up missing, the kit will instantly provide 80 percent of the information needed by police in the first hours after a report. “It’s a tool,” said Kenny Hansmire, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association/FBI National Child ID Program. “The more information you can give to authorities, … the better they can do their job.” Although no cases have been resolved with the use of the kit, a runaway in Texas was found in a border state when she was arrested and fingerprinted by police.
Governor Mitch Daniels also made November “Child Identification Month” in Indiana. This increase effort to raise awareness about child safety reflects the tenor of priorities in the Indiana State Capitol building. Keeping our children safe should be and is priority number one. “Though we hope these kits will never be needed, it is reassuring to know that families will be prepared if the worst should ever happen,” said Daniels.
The identification kits will be distributed in the Indiana education system. With these kits implemented in Indianapolis education, we can look forward to more information about children as they grow up and gravitate toward danger in the Circle City.