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ChildSafe program launched

A new security measure, in an attempt to reduce the number of missing and abducted children, has recently been implemented by a Fortune 500 Company, based in Birmingham with a local branch in Andalusia.

Liberty National Life Insurance Company representatives are providing free identification kits for children to parents in the southeast over the next few months as part of a community service campaign for child safety. The ChildSafe Identification kits are available to any parent or grandparent who requests one for their child or children. Liberty National Life has offered these kits through many PTA groups and other parent organizations. The kits can be ordered by calling the toll free number 1-800-772-0285.

"This started about a month ago, but this is the first time the company has done this," Lucky Cope, a local representative for Liberty National said. "There was a rash of abductions last year (that sparked action from the company). This is something the company decided to do.

"So if something drastic happened, (parents) could have a lock of hair, a birthmark, or even a fingerprint section to use and notify the police," he continued.

Cope added the local office will work closely with police officials and schools in the county to ensure the safety of children. The kits are basically set up as a tri-fold, with various personal information about the children, complete with descriptions and slots in an 8 by 8 binder for data storage, he added.

"It's something for parents to keep," he said. "They can keep pictures (in the binder) and update the photos over the years through school pictures."

Cope said the innovative security measures will allow them to focus on schools and any missing children in the schools.

"Last year 49,000 children were lost, missing or abducted in Florida alone," said Liberty National spokesperson, Brant Beene. "We feel that we can help authorities find children faster by providing the ChildSafe Identification kits free to any parent who wants one. It is something we are doing in every community where we have an office. All parents have to do is call 1-800-772-0285 to order one. They can also go to the website (libertychildsafekit.com) and order."

The identification kits include a space for parents to attach a recent photograph of their child, or tape a lock of the child's hair. There are spaces to record vital information such as height, weight, age, eye color, and a place for fingerprints. An ink strip for fingerprinting comes with the kit. The Liberty ChildSafe Identification Kit is designed to help authorities find a child quicker in the event of a search.

"We are letting parents know that they should replace the photograph of their child each year and keep the information current," Beene said. "Children change so much from year to year, it's important to keep the information fresh."

The customers are the key to the success of the company, and the identification kits are just a way of giving back to the community, according to Cope.

"We couldn't have achieved our goals in the company without the customers," he said. "This is also a way of giving back to the community, which has put so much trust into us. We wouldn't be where we are today or a Fortune 500 company without the support of our customers. This is something we are excited about doing."