USD to participate in child ID program

USD to participate in child ID program The University of South Dakota Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will participate in the National Child Identification Program, which is being sponsored through the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). During the Nov. 7 St. Cloud State game in the DakotaDome, USD will hand out child identification kits that will help bring children home safely. The kits are an inkless fingerprinting kit so parents can keep a copy of the child's fingerprints at home. The St. Cloud State U game will be held during the South Dakota high school Football Playoffs weekend at USD.

"We are very excited to participate in this worthwhile program," said USD Athletic Director Kelly Higgins. "We hope that none of our fans will ever need to provide fingerprints to law enforcement personnel. But it is a safety measure that will help them if their child ever disappears," he said. "We encourage USD alumni and friends to pick up these kits as they leave the DakotaDome on Nov. 7."

More than 7 million child identification kits are being distributed at 681 college football stadiums nationwide during the 1998 college football season. This is the largest community service project of this kind in the nation.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, each year 800,000 children are missing (one in every 40 seconds), and over 450,000 children run away from home. Family members abduct 354,000 children and non-family members abduct 4,600 children. Yet, according to an AFCA press release, less than 2 percent of the parents have a copy of their child's fingerprints in a time of need.

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