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Kits available to help in case child goes missing
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Child identification kits
What: Sections for fingerprinting, GenetiKid DNA card, sterile swab, space to attach a current photo, child’s medical and physical information and emergency contact information
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday
Where: Gainesville Police Department, 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville; Georgia State Patrol Post 6, 2000 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville; Hall County Sheriff’s Office, 610 Main St., Gainesville
Contact: 770-219-8095, www.safekids.org/coalition/safe-kids-gainesvillehall-county, www.missingkids.com/ChildID

Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County has partnered with the Gainesville Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol Post 6 and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office to give away free child identification kits to local families while supplies last.

“We’ve ordered 3,300 kits, and that quantity could last from six months to a year before we have to reorder,” said Kim Martin, coalition coordinator at Safe Kids.

The kits come in a resealable waterproof bag and include sections for fingerprinting, a GenetiKid DNA card, a sterile swab, space to attach a current photo, the child’s medical and physical information along with emergency contact information and complete instructions for parents. This information should be updated annually.

Law enforcement officials say these tools are important in helping them in the case of a missing child.

“The information from the kits is a vital and key component in missing child cases,” said Cpl. Kevin Holbrook, Gainesville Police Department public relations officer. “Fortunately, our department doesn’t deal with a lot of these cases, but nationally, this information is used all the time.”

Authorities work throughout the year to help families complete the information needed. Sometimes working with the families to complete the kits is just as important as the actual information found in them.

“We do a number of programs throughout the community and work with schools and churches and organizations to complete the kits,” Holbrook said. “It acts, one, as a way to identify children in the case of an abduction or missing child, and additionally it allows us to build bonds and relationships with the children and families while we complete the kits.”

In 2013, there were 462,567 missing or lost children entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. The first three hours are the most critical when finding a missing person, and up-to-date, quality information and photos can be valuable in the search.

A Child ID kit can help families maintain current photos and information about their children.

Safe Kids funds the kits through the Northeast Georgia Medical Center and also has programs that give away items throughout the year.

“Our top five safety areas are passenger, water, fire, sport and home,” Martin said.

The kits can be picked up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at three locations including:

  • Gainesville Police Department, 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville
  • Georgia State Patrol Post 6, 2000 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville
  • Hall County Sheriff’s Office, 610 Main St., Gainesville
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