HCSO hosting “Take 25 event” Friday and Saturday

The Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office is doing its part to ensure the safety of children across the area.The office, in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, will observe National Missing Children’s Day this year with participation in the national Take 25 child safety campaign. A child ID program will be held from 2-8 p.m. May 18 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19 at the Borger Wal-Mart.May 25 has been observed as National Missing Children’s Day since it was first observed back in 1983. The day serves as an annual reminder that there are thousands of children who are still missing and stresses the importance of making child protection a national priority.Take 25 is a national child safety public awareness campaign that was created in 2007 by the NCMEC. It encourages parents to take 25 minutes to talk their children about safety and ways to prevent abduction. The campaign started May 1 and runs through May 25 each year in communities throughout the country.“We know that teaching children about safety works. Community events play an important role in helping parents understand how they can help save a child’s life,” Ernie Allen, President and CEO of NCMEC, said. “We are very grateful to our local partners who share our interest in keeping children safe. They play an important role in raising public awareness in communities throughout America.”Each year in the United States, an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than 2,000 daily. Of that number, 200,000 are abducted by family members and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members, for which the primary motive is sexual.Each year, over 100 children are the victims of the most serious abductions. They are taken by non-family members and either murdered, ransomed, or taken with the intent to keep.An analysis of attempted abduction cases by NCMEC found that in 84 percent of the cases, the child escaped potential abductors through their own actions. This proves that teaching children about safety works, and it saves lives.During the child ID program, the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office will be taking fingerprints, photographs, and DNA samples from the children who participate. Chief Deputy James Qualls wants parents to know that this information will remain closely guarded.“Nothing will be kept by the sheriff’s office,” he said. “Everything will be given to the parent/guardian to take home and placed in a location for safekeeping.”For more information on the upcoming Child ID event, call 274-6343.