Operation Kidsafe has dedicated itself to child safety for nearly 20 years. And Adamson Ford has partnered with Operation Kidsafe to bring the first Operation Kidsafe Child Safety Center to Alabama.
Published: May 1, 2018
By: Paige Townley
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: their child gets separated from them, or even worse, the fear their child has been kidnapped. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 2,000 children are reported missing every day.
For almost 20 years now, Operation Kidsafe has worked to prepare families for this type of emergency and provide them with a plan. Developed with the help of consultants from the FBI, police and fingerprinting experts, the Operation Kidsafe system provides parents with a printed copy of the digital fingerprints of their child, along with a full digital head and shoulder photograph and space to fill in necessary personal information at home.
The system is completely private, as no information is required from parents to get the document, and the only record of the document goes home with the family. Then should the child ever become lost or kidnapped, parents can quickly and easily provide law enforcement with the document.
Operation Kidsafe is the brainchild of Mark Bott, who one day experienced a child emergency scare with his own family. “When that happened, I realized I had no plan,” he explains. “That was a really scary realization.” From that one instance, Bott decided to learn more about child safety, and when he sold his businesses, he decided to take some time to volunteer before delving into another company.
He met John Walsh (of America’s Most Wanted) and worked with him for a few years on child safety initiatives and traveling around the country to help start the Amber Alert program. “I got into focusing on child safety, and I just never looked back,” Bott says. “Parents aren’t always an arm’s length away from their children, so they must have the tools to help them and protect them.”
Also included in the Operation Kidsafe system is safety tips for parents to create a family safety action plan, whether their child is a year old or an older teen. “That way parents can hopefully avoid ever having to use the form,” Bott adds. “It’s the last form you ever want to use, but if it’s ever needed, law enforcement can scan it and have it in squad cars in less than 10 minutes and have an Amber Alert going.”
Now in its 17th year, Operation Kidsafe has made its way across the United States and Canada and has protected more than one million children – and it’s done so completely free of charge to families. “My wife, Patty, and I wanted to establish a brand parents could trust, and we wanted to do that with two core principles: it would always be private and it would always be free. And we’ve never charged a family anything. We’ve stuck with those principles, and we always will.”
And now, the free and completely private child safety kit is available in Birmingham, as Adamson Ford has partnered with Operation Kidsafe to bring the first Operation Kidsafe Child Safety Center to Alabama. After having the program available as part of its 100-year celebration and getting incredible feedback from parents, the dealership has a year-round Operation Kidsafe system set up in its showroom. Parents can visit the Adamson Ford Showroom with their child and get the vital safety form, no cost and no strings attached.
“It’s amazing to see a company giving back to the community that has made them successful,” Bott says. “We are so blessed to be doing this and having sponsors like this helping get the system into the hands of parents. It’s a privilege to be able to give this to parents. I don’t know how many kids’ lives we’ve saved, but we will keep doing this to help everyone we can.”
For more information about Operation Kidsafe, visit operationkidsafe.org.