Send Missing Child’s Information Faster through FBI App
Worried about your child going missing during Mardi Gras? There’s an app for that – produced by the FBI.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has an app, the “FBI Child ID,” which can be preloaded with information of your loved one, making it significantly quicker to give law enforcement the necessary information to find the missing person.
The app is free, and the developer is the FBI.gov. It is available for Android and Apple.
“Mardi Gras parades, not trying to scare any parents, but realistically when you are on the go, potentially, your child could wander off, you could lose sight of them,” said Craig Betbeze, Public Affairs Officer for the FBI New Orleans Field Office. “The odds of them absolutely being abducted are rare… usually they wander off or get lost.”
In the past, fingerprint kits were used to prepare for the worst case scenario of a missing loved one, but as Betbeze said, when families are on vacation they tend to leave those at home. Today, everyone takes their cell phone with them.
“The first 24 hours, the first couple of hours are critical,” said Betbeze. “The quicker we can get this information out the better off the parents are, the better off law enforcement is.”
The information within the app is behind a second password wall, separate from the phone itself, thereby double protecting it. Betbeze said that the FBI does not have access to this information, unless it is sent to them.
“This information is not collected and stored by the FBI,” Betbeze said, emphasizing the word not. “Under child privacy laws, they have rights too.”
The app has three stages: profile, safety tips, and action.
The profile is where the relevant information can be loaded in. This includes, name, age, photo height, etc. Identifying features such as scars or tattoos can also be added in. It also includes a send button which instantly transfer.
Stage two gives the user detailed info of what to do, in the event that a loved one is missing.
Stage three holds buttons to dial relevant agencies such as 911, local law enforcement, and NCMEC.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a national organization that informs law enforcement nationwide of a missing person.
“When you transmit this information, in the profile, you are literally putting your child’s information in the hands of thousands of officers within the matter of minutes,” said Betbeze, snapping his fingers on the word officers.