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Crist Introduces Child Safety Legislation

Crist | Congress | Politics

The bipartisan bill would allow parents to collect and store their children’s fingerprints and other identifying information at home.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D- St. Petersburg, is co-sponsoring a bill that, he said, is designed to protect children’s sensitive information.

Crist is co-sponsoring the National Child Identification Assistance Act with Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee. The bipartisan bill is designed to protect children’s sensitive information by empowering parents to store it themselves, rather than the government.

“We must do all we can to protect our children,” Crist said. “I am proud to join my friend, Congressman Rooney, in introducing this common-sense bill to do just that, promoting a proactive approach to address the growing issue of missing and exploited children.”

Rooney said, “The National Child Identification Assistance Act highlights the importance of the National Child Identification Program, a national community service initiative which provides inkless, in-home fingerprinting kits to parents so they can proactively collect and store their child’s vital identification in the privacy of their own homes.

It also decentralizes the process for law enforcement agencies that may lack the resources to collect and centrally store information related to individual children. Should a child go missing, parents will be able to immediately furnish all of the pertinent information that law enforcement needs to conduct a search and rescue as quickly as possible. In the past, this program has partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, local law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other community service organizations and this bill is an important step to ensure parents are directly involved in its continued success.”

Originally recognized by Congress in 2001 for its dedication and efforts to protect children, the National Child Identification Program is a community service initiative that partners with college football teams and NFL teams to provide parents and guardians with ID kits that they can use at home to store their child’s sensitive identification information.

“I am so proud that Congressmen Rooney and Crist are leading the effort to help protect our greatest asset, our nations’ children.  I was one of the coaches that helped start this program, and to date with 57 million ID kits distributed, it is the largest child ID program in the world. What a blessing,” said former Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden.

Former West Virginia Head Coach Don Nehlen said, “Nothing is more important to the country than our children, they are our future.  This ID Kit can be filled out in about five minutes, stored in the home and can be provided to authorities in the case of an emergency.”

Coach Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions and longtime program board member, said, “It is a great initiative that I have been involved with since 1997.  This is another positive way that we can protect one of our most important natural resources that we have and that’s our children.”

Crist represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which includes south and mid-Pinellas County, Rooney represents Florida’s 17th Congressional District, which includes Okeechobee, Punta Gorda and Sebring.

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Charlie Crist | Tom Rooney | Children and Families | Tampabay News | TB Reporter

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