In a perfect world, our children would be safe from all harm. They could play with friends and go off to school without any worries or concerns. But this is the real world. Although most kids grow up without any negative experiences, we have to do our best to prepare them in case they are ever in danger or threatened in any way.
The Tyler Police Department has been involved with fingerprinting kids for identification purposes for several years but we are now able to provide parents with a wallet sized ID card that they can carry with them at all times should their child go missing. The ID card has all of the child’s identifying information along with any medical needs that the child might have. The card has a picture of the child along with a digital thumb print.
Tyler Police Department previously was only able to provide a fingerprint card that did not have a photo and was difficult for parents to have with them at all times if needed. The card has instructions on what to do if your child is missing and should be presented to police upon their arrival.
The Tyler Police Department is also able to provide an ID card to Alzheimer’s patients that will aid in the safe return of the patients to their families.
Crime prevention officers offer the Child ID Program at safety fairs, schools, and other events throughout the year. If your group is interested in the Child ID Program contact the Community Response Team.
Teach your child their home address and telephone numbers and review this information regularly.
Explain to your child that strangers are people they do not know. Strangers can be men, women, boys, girls, and even babies. Of course, not all strangers are bad, but it is difficult, if not impossible to determine a good stranger from a bad one. Remind your child that they should not take walks or rides with a stranger, and they should not accept gifts, candy or food from people that they do not know.
Parents should not overlook the possibility of molestation or abduction by known persons. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings, and really listen to the child's fears and concerns about people you know.
As a parent, set good examples for your child by not opening your door to people that you do not know. Use the peephole to preview outside before opening the door. Talk to strangers through a closed, locked door.
Place 9-1-1 stickers on every telephone in your home. Explain to children that emergencies are situations where someone could get hurt or are already hurt. When you call 9-1-1, a highly trained emergency call taker that can assist with police, fire and medical emergencies answers your call.
Adopt a family code word and caution your child to never go with anyone who does not know this code word. Change the code word every so often.
Check your child's route to and from school. Let your child's teacher know the names of the people authorized to pick your child up from school.
If Your Child Is Missing
- Remain calm
- Check your entire house and the surrounding area.
- Contact friends, neighbors, or relatives and ask them to check around their areas.
- Contact your child's friends or their parents.
- Contact your local law enforcement agency.
- Have all biographical information about the child ready to turn over to your law enforcement agency.
Appoint a responsible friend or relative to be in charge of the telephone.
Tell authorities about any family disputes, which may be pertinent to the disappearance of the child.