By MidWeek Staff Share Del.icio.us
Every time Attorney General Mark Bennett turns on his computer, the face of a missing child stares back at him, as missing children’s photos are posted on the front page of his depart-ment’s website.
There are about 800,000 children missing every year nationwide, and about 2,185 children missing each day.
That’s why Bennett urges families to attend the upcoming free Keiki ID events 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 20 at Pearlridge and Kahala Mall, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 16 at Windward Mall.
“This is terrific because it helps children and their parents,” he explains. “It’s a preventative measure. It helps them talk about keeping safe.”
For example, it’s a good idea to teach your child important telephone numbers and where to go in case of an emergency.
“The biggest challenge is having parents understand this is good for kids,” adds Bennett, who was approved recently for a second four-year term. “It’s something parents don’t want to think about.”
The Keiki ID kit has a photo of the child, information about the child, DNA and dental records that may be a helpful part of an investigation.
The Hamburglar character from McDonald’s will be on hand to give keiki a coupon if they complete a kit. McDonald’s is also providing lunch for 70 volunteers. The Hawaii Dental Association Dental Samaritans provide the dental charts.
The Department of the Attorney General Missing Child Center-Hawaii, the Hawaii Sheriff Association and the Friends of the Missing Child Center-Hawaii are coordinating this event, and they all agree that the first few hours a child is missing are the most vital. They also concur that being able to get the information out about the child right away helps with recovery.
Bennett also is involved with the Hawaii State Bar Association, Aloha United Way, and has participated in the Troy Barboza Run with law enforcement. He recently had the good fortune of carrying the torch at the end of the run at the Special Olympics.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Binghamton, N.Y., Bennett enjoys running and playing bridge, and he’s an avid Yankees fan.
And, of course, he also enjoys spending time with his wife, Patricia Ohara.
For more information on the Keiki ID program, call the Missing Child Center Hawaii at 586-1449, or log onto www.missingchildcenterhawaii.com
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