When a child goes missing, minutes matter. Kansas City Police are using a new system to help find missing children.
The EZ Child ID System takes digital fingerprints and makes an ID card for children with their identifying information.
In 2019, 26,300 were reported missing in the U.S., according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The program can help parents capture the vital information to help identify their children in the event that they go missing, including all the information required by the Amber Alert System, at no cost.
On September 4, Royals Charities and the Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy hosted a free opportunity for families to register at 1622 E. 17th Terr. from 4 to 7 p.m.
Each child will receive one ID card, which will be printed out on a hard plastic card, similar to a driver’s license or credit card. Documentation or proof of identity is not required for children to receive a card.
Families from all over the metro are invited to attend. The event will also have 2020 Kansas City Royals Baseball Card Program TOPPS Cards available. It is the first opportunity for children to get them this year.
Children’s information will not be saved, as there is no database for the program and the software is set up to automatically delete the information once the card is printed. The intention is that parents will keep the EZ Child ID in a safe location that they can remember and access in an emergency.
In the event that a child goes missing, the parent should let the responding officers know that they have an EZ Child ID.
Families also had the opportunity to sign up for the EZ Child ID system at a Slurpees with a Cop event on August 11 at a 7-11 store in south Kansas City.
“In the event a child goes missing and an Amber Alert has to be issued, having that information already makes it much more efficient and easy,” said Officer Jason Cooley, who spearheaded the project.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City and the Police Foundation of Kansas City donated the money to purchase three kits, which include a hard case, laptop computer, digital fingerprint scanner, portable camera system, card printer and cooling equipment to run outside.
Police obtained the kits in early 2020 and planned to roll them out at spring community events, which were cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Since some KCPD outdoor community events are up and running again, Officer Cooley said it was the right time to deploy the EZ Child ID system.
“Kids are not negotiable,” he said. “We’ve got to move forward with this. We’ve got to help parents, and we can have stranger danger conversations around it.”
For more information about this event, contact Royals Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 921-8000.