Regional
6:11 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Springfield Man Created Child Safety Program

Credit Operation Kidsafe

Mark Bott had the idea for Operation Kidsafe 11 years ago.  Since then, more than 1 million children have participated.

The program is free.  It allows kids to be photographed and fingerprinted and lets parents obtain other safety information.  The parents are handed a document that can be updated.   No personal information is given and there is no databasing.

"So you will always have a document that's ready to hand to law enforcement," Bott said.  Of course, no one wants to ever see the information needed.

"I've raised seven kids.  I know things other parents don't want to know. I've been deeply involved in child safety.  I worked with John Walsh (of America's Most Wanted) for 4 years," he said. "But here are the numbers. 2,000 kids are reported missing in North America every day.  The good news is, the majority of those are reunited with their parents, they were displaced at the mall, all different kinds of stories. But some of those stories don't have good endings."

"Are we probably giving you a document you will never use? Absolutely. that's the idea," Bott said.

You can learn more at a local child safety fair this Saturday at the Freedom Auto Group in Virden.