New app can help locate missing children

New Morgan Nick app
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new app designed to help parents get their children's information to authorities immediately if there is an emergency is now available.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recently released an app called Safety Central.

It was created as a digital ID kit that allows parents to keep their child's information right at their fingertips.

Paul Holmes, public information specialist for the Jonesboro Police Department, said having your child's current information ready is key to finding them quickly.

"In the event something tragic occurs like your child going missing or, God forbid, being abducted, the sooner you can get accurate information into the hands of law enforcement the sooner officers can look for and locate your child," Holmes said.

Holmes said one of the most important features of the app is the digital ID kit.

"You just download it on your smartphone and away you go in terms of having your child's information right there on your phone," Holmes said. "This is a great way to use technology to keep your child safe or if something unforeseen happens you can get that information to law enforcement quickly."

Holmes recommended that all parents and grandparents keep current information on their kids.

"You should have some up-to-date records," Holmes said. "Whether you choose to use this, which seems to be rather convenient, or something else. Anybody you see in the world these days walks along, sits or stands with their phone in their hand. It seems this app would add a measure of convenience. But any sort of record that you can update that you can keep current on your child is a real plus in the event of something tragic or alarming happening."

Holmes said parents should also keep a current photograph of their children or grandchildren.

"Keep a photograph of your child or grandchildren on your phone even if you don't use the app," Holmes said. "The app looks to me to be a handy way to keep updated information and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children assures you that they don't share that information and it's kept confidential."

Holmes said after checking out the app himself, he feels it's a smart thing for parents to utilize.

"If something happened and your ran in here to the police station to report it, what you would likely do is run in here with your phone in your hand," Holmes said. "If you can store information somewhere that it's readily accessible, that gives law enforcement a jump on locating your child and returning them safely."

The app is free to download to your smartphone and can be found in the app store.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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