Program will help protect 41,750 kindergarten students in Mississippi this school year.

On Friday, Attorney General Lynn Fitch hosted NFL Hall of Famer Mike Singletary, Ole Miss College Football Hall of Famer Wesley Walls, and National Child ID Program Executive Director Kenny Hansmire for a press conference to announce the launch of the Mississippi Child ID Program.

The program will provide privately funded child ID kits to 41,750 students in kindergarten across the state.

According to a release from the Attorney General’s Office, the Mississippi Child ID Program gives parents an easy-to-use kit for collecting and keeping identifying information about their children so that should their child ever go missing, it can be quickly turned over to law enforcement to aid in the child’s recovery.

“Generous support from Walmart and Southern Company will make the kit available for free to the parents of every Mississippi kindergartener in the coming year,” the release said.

Each year, over half a million children go missing. In Mississippi, about 5 per 100,000 people are trafficked in the state.

Unfortunately, 25% of all human trafficking cases include a child, and minority populations are three times more likely to go missing or be abducted.

“This year, the National Child ID Program celebrates its 25th anniversary. The program was created by football coaches in 1997 following the abduction and death of Amber Hagerman, the namesake for the Amber Alert,” the AG’s release continued. “Since then, over 75 million child ID kits have been distributed nationally via public-private partnerships.”

Attorney General Fitch noted that last year in Mississippi, 138 children were reported missing to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“Twenty-seven of those Mississippi children are still missing today,” Fitch said. “When a child goes missing, time is of the essence. The sooner law enforcement can locate the child, the better the chances for a safe recovery. The Mississippi Child ID program will help make that happen.”

National Child ID Program Executive Director Kenny Hansmire said he is humbled by the leadership of Attorney General Fitch and her dedication to provide this gift of safety to the families of Mississippi.

“She is taking major steps to ensure safety in her state and leading the charge to protect Mississippi’s children. I am honored to join with her on this partnership on the launch of the Mississippi Child ID Program,” Hansmire stated.

Mike Singletary said it is an honor to work with Fitch on this program. 

“Attorney General Lynn Fitch shows incredible leadership in her role as Attorney General and her steadfast dedication to protecting the children of Mississippi. It is an honor to work with her on this program and I look forward to seeing this great work she will continue to do in Mississippi,” Singletary said.