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FDLE recognizes National Missing Children's Day

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, along with the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Florida Lottery, law enforcement officials, emergency management officials, broadcasters and transportation officials throughout the nation, will recognize National Missing Children’s Day on Sunday, May 25, 2014.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, along with the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Florida Lottery, law enforcement officials, emergency management officials, broadcasters and transportation officials throughout the nation, will recognize National Missing Children’s Day on Sunday, May 25, 2014. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day in 1983 and the nation observes this day each year to mark the anniversary of the disappearance of Etan Patz from a New York City street on his way to school in 1979.

During 2013, Florida law enforcement agencies received 35,124 reports of missing children and FDLE’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse provided direct assistance in the recovery of 91 missing children last year.

“When a child is missing, public awareness is key,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “I encourage you to sign up for Missing Child and AMBER Alerts. You could be key to finding one of our children.”

Citizens can sign up to receive free AMBER and Missing Child Alerts by email or text message at www.missingchildrenalert.com.

In honor of National Missing Children’s Day, the U.S. Department of Justice holds a national poster contest for fifth-grade students. This year’s theme was “Bring Our Missing Children Home” and included entries from 48 states, four territories and one military base. Florida’s own Amber N. placed second with her depiction of a Bald Eagle set to the backdrop of an American flag.

Each year, Florida recognizes the extraordinary efforts made by law enforcement officers and private citizens on behalf of missing children at the annual Florida Missing Children’s Day ceremony. This year’s ceremony will be held at the Capitol on Sept. 8, 2014.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s “Take 25” campaign encourages parents to spend 25 minutes talking with their children about ways to stay safe from abduction and online exploitation. Parents can visit www.take25.org to learn more. Additionally, the NetSmartz Workshop, www.netsmartz.org, is an interactive, educational program that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement.
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