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According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, 612,846 reports of missing persons were filed in 2018. Of those reports, nearly 85,000 remained active by year end; sadly, youth accounted for 34.8 percent of all active records.
Since 1983, May 25 has been known as National Missing Children’s Day. Each year, the Department of Justice holds a ceremony to honor the efforts of agencies, organizations and individuals who work to protect children. At the annual presentation, awards are presented to various individuals. Honors include the Attorney General’s Special Commendation, Missing Children’s Law Enforcement Award, Missing Children’s Child’s Protection Award and Missing Children’s Citizen Award.
Additionally, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) holds a poster contest, in which fifth graders from all over the country are invited to complete a drawing that illustrates the theme, “Bring Our Missing Children Home.” See this year’s award winner. The contest creates a unique opportunity for schools, law enforcement and child advocates to discuss the issue of missing and/or exploited children with youth, parents and guardians.
We are incredibly appreciative to all agencies and people who work to protect children from harm. In honor of Missing Children’s Month, we’d also like to spread the word by sharing a few helpful pieces of information to teach your child. Many of these tips will not likely be new but will ideally act as a refresher that you can share with your loved ones.
- Their first and last name
- The full names of their parents, address and phone number
- How to identify trusted adults
- How and when to call 911
- The power of the buddy system
Missing Children’s Month is dedicated to encouraging all parties, including parents, guardians, caregivers, neighbors, teachers and all concerned individuals, to make child safety a priority. Lions Pride hopes these suggestions help keep you and your children safe. Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend!