City of Hitchcock Police Department

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DNA has been called the fingerprint on the new millennium.

One popular application of DNA technology is sampling for purposes of identification. To that end, many companies now offer DNA collection or sampling kits that cost anywhere from $5.00 - $200.00 per child, depending on whether parents wish to store or process the DNA. Now, for the first time, parents can sample their children's DNA at home, using household products with the full knowledge that the integrity of the product will be maintained.

  • Rub a clean (sterile if possible) cotton swab* on inside of cheek until moist.
  • Let air dry for twenty-four hours.
  • Label with child's name and sample date.
  • When dry, place in Zip-lock bag, then fold and place that Zip-lock bag in another Zip-lock bag. (double seal)
  • Save in freezer until needed.
  • Follow same procedure for blood sample. However, wait until child scrapes or cuts him/herself before taking sample.
  • Save baby teeth in the same manner.

* You can also use sterile gauze or a clean piece of filter paper.

 

What to do if your child disappears

  • Immediately call (911)

    When law enforcement arrives give the responding officer all personal and identifying information, including fingerprints, photograph and DNA samples so that they can expedite the investigation. Insist that they enter the information into the National Crime Information Computer (NCIC) at once.

  • Notify all other relevant law enforcement agencies

    Including the local sheriff, state police, and police from adjoining jurisdictions. This will give you the knowledge that they are aware of your child's plight.

  • Notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation

    If you suspect a predatory abduction. FBI resources are unsurpassed in law enforcement.

  • Notify all local media assignment desks.

    Work with the Media - keep in mind that the general public's awareness about your missing child could be expedited by the broadcasting of details.

  • Notify your local non-profit child locator service.

    Local Child Locator Non-Profit organizations can offer a wealth of assistance including, but not limited to: acting as a liaison with law enforcement; and assisting in locating a sympathetic reporter to help you plea your case in the media.

  • If you require a reward.

    The Carol Sund / Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation provides Missing Person-Criminal Apprehension Rewards of up to $10,000.

    1-888-813-8389
    http://www.carolesundfoundation.com
  • If you require a citizen search effort.

    The Laura Recovery Center Foundation is one of the Internet's best destinations for organizing volunteer search centers. If the criteria are met they will assist in professionally training your search volunteers.

    1-866-898-LRCF (5723)
    http://www.lrcf.org/
  • If you want to talk to someone who has walked in your shoes

    Team H.O.P.E. (Help Offering Parents Empowerment) is a federally supported organization consisting of family members of missing children. Trained to assist those who are facing the early stages of a disappearance, these volunteers can provide rare insight, wisdom, and important resources.

    1-866-305-HOPE (4673)
    http://www.teamhope.org
  • If you believe that your child has run away.

    We recommend that you call the National Runaway Hotline. They have a database of more than 10,000 local resources throughout the country.

    1-800-621-4000
    http://www.nrscrisisline.org
  • Keep your home phone staffed and record conversations.

    This may be the only way your child knows how to reach you.

  • Find a printer.

    Volunteers will help you to post flyers in highly visible areas.

  • Encourage a massive coordinated response effort

    By law enforcement, media, your closest child finding agency, and volunteers.

  • Take care to preserve your physical well being.

    Seek emotional and psychological support from your church or social service agencies. Remember that you alone are leading the battle for the return of your missing child.

 

Safety Tips for Parents

  • Maintain current ID, including photograph, video and fingerprints.
  • Maintain current addresses and phone numbers of your children's friends.
  • It is important to keep all doors and windows locked.
  • Do not advertise your child's name on clothing, school supplies or backpacks.
  • Seek alternatives to leaving children alone in the home, on the street or in the car.
  • Children should know their phone number and how to use a pay phone without money to call home or 911.
  • Be a role model to your children. Settle arguments with words, not violence.
  • By promoting your child's self-esteem and letting them know that you love them for who they are, you will teach them the self-confidence they need to avoid drugs and crime.
  • Listen to your children. Encourage them not to keep secrets from you.
  • Your child should know that certain people could be helpful, such as Police Officers, mothers with children, and store clerks. These people can assist them if you become separated.

   

Talk to your children

The subject of child safety scares parents more than it does children.

It is wrong to withhold information designed to enhance a child's safety because of our own denial and superstition. Children have a tremendous capacity to learn and draw conclusions from information that they receive. To raise safety minded children, you must talk to them regularly, not just when there is a breaking news story. If you deny these realities, they will come back to haunt you in one form or another. When it comes to teaching your child the important lessons in life, there is no one more qualified than you. If you do not sensationalize, but speak from a position of compassion and love, we can overcome our fears and regain control of our destiny. There are many non-threatening examples that you can share with your children to teach how to keep themselves safer.

Just remember:

Keep it simple, be creative, and don't be scared. Get smart!

 

Safety Statistics

Despite recent downward crime trends, parents are very concerned about the safety of their children.

The statistics are staggering:

  • 1 child is abducted every 40 seconds in the United States.
  • 8470 children are reported abused or neglected every day.
  • 280 children are arrested for violent crimes every day.
  • 39% of children under 18 are using drugs when they commit crimes.
  • Every minute 8 children attempt suicide and 3 end up in the hospital or the morgue.
  • In 1999, 750,000 children were reported missing to law enforcement.

If any other segment of our population were so impacted, we would declare an epidemic: the center for disease control would fund a cure; we would pass and enforce legislation and we would increase private and public security. But, since it is only our children many in our society accept these appalling numbers as status quo. Although there are no quick fixes to the problems of child safety, there are many things that we can do as adults to address and positively impact the issue.

   

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