WI to hand out 975,000 fingerprint ID kits to all school-age kids to keep them safe

Wisconsin will be the third state in the U.S. to distribute ID kits to all school-age children.
Schoolkids will be sent home with a fingerprint ID kit
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 4:40 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Starting in April, every school-aged child in Wisconsin will be sent home from school with a new tool to keep them safe.

It’s called a fingerprint ID kit, and it contains basic identifying information about a child that can be given to police quickly if they go missing.

The kit includes a document to record height, weight, and a place to put a picture. It even has room for a DNA sample and fingerprints if needed by authorities.

Every year 800,000 kids go missing in the United States, which turns out to be one every 40 seconds.

A total of 975,000 kits will be sent out to kids’ homes year, thanks to a partnership between the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office, the Green Bay Packers, Alliant Energy, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Each kit costs about $2.83. The funding for Wisconsin’s kits is a result of this partnership.

“The state has tight resources so they went out and figured out funding for the program so it’s not at the taxpayers’ expense,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul.

Wisconsin will be the third state in the U.S. to distribute ID kits to all school-age children. The National Child ID Program will work with schools, both private and public, to distribute the kits starting in April.

“What can often happen when kids go missing, is there is no information about them that is available to help locate them, like fingerprints or DNA information. Kids don’t have IDs with them usually so this kind of information collected through these kits can help law enforcement find missing persons more quickly,” said Kaul.

Brown County Sheriff Todd Delain supports these kits and said parents shouldn’t be concerned about filling them out.

“Oftentimes family members are worried about information getting out and ending up in the database, not the case. You bring it home, fill it out and keep it. It’s yours and hopefully you never need it, but if you do need it, it’s there and you can give it to police,” said Sheriff Delain.

“It can be done in the privacy of home, stored by parents indefinitely so if the unthinkable never happens, then it stays home and is not given to any government agency,” said Kaul.

Parents are advised to watch for the ID kit and update it every year, especially height, weight, and picture.

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