August 29, 2002
STORRS, CONN. - The University of Connecticut football team and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Connecticut are launching the National Child Identification Program (NCIP) for the State of Connecticut at the UConn-Georgia Tech football game on Sept. 7 at Memorial Stadium in Storrs.
Each year, 800,000 children are reported missing in the United States. These alarming figures include 450,000 runaways, 350,000 children abducted by relatives, and more than 4,600 children abducted by non-family members. This is an average of one missing child every 40 seconds. Only one in five parents has a copy of their childs fingerprints in case of an emergency. These disturbing figures and the recent national publicity concerning abductions, underscores the importance of this, and other programs to protect our most valuable resource, our children.
The University of Connecticut is a member of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), which is the primary professional organization of football coaches at all levels of competition in the United States. The 10,000 member organization includes all of the coaches of 32 NFL teams, more than 90% of the head coaches of the 680+ schools that play football at the college level, and thousands of high school coaches across the country.
The NCIP is an outreach program that was developed by the AFCA in 1997, and since then, 10 million identification kits have been distributed, with the ultimate goal of distributing sufficient kits to protect our 60 million children.
The identification kits consist of an inkless fingerprinting foil pouch containing a clear, non-toxic fingerprinting solution, and an ID card which contains simple instructions, an area to practice fingerprinting, an area to record fingerprints, sections to record the childs physical description and identifying marks, a space for a current photograph, and sections for a doctors telephone number. While not required, a hair cutting sample for DNA can also be attached. These kits are then maintained by parents in the event of an emergency.
The FBI nationally joined in a partnership with the AFCA in January 2002 to further promote and support this important program that is critical to the protection of our youth.
"We are pleased to bring this important joint effort between the AFCA and FBI to our campus," UConn head coach Randy Edsall said. "This important program could help save a childs life. Anything that we can do to help increase awareness for it in Connecticut, I am glad to do on behalf of this team and this university."