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Tuesday May 25th is National Missing Children’s Day. On this special day, America is reminded of the thousands of children who are reported as missing in our nation—and what we can do to protect our children. National Missing Children’s Day is also a reminder to all parents and guardians of the need for high-quality photographs of their children for use in case of an emergency, and for the need for everyone to pay close attention to the posters and photographs of missing children.
The Bismarck Police Department reminds parents that many crimes against children can be prevented, and urges parents to talk to their children about their safety.
Parents can't be with children and protect them everywhere. That's why education is so important. It's important not to scare your children. Teach them to be careful, but not afraid. To help safeguard your children teach them these safety rules:Bad guys don't always look bad. You can't tell if a person is good or bad by the way he or she looks. That's why it's important to be careful around all people you don't know.If an adult asks for help, tell someone you trust. An adult should be asking other adults for help, not children.Step back from strangers. Staying "an arm's reach plus" away from strangers gives children a measure of safety they may need if they feel uncomfortable in a situation. An arm's reach plus is the length of an adult's arm, plus distance reached when they bend over plus a little bit more.Use the buddy system. Young children should always be with an adult, and not left alone in a vehicle for a minute. Older kids should go places with friends.Ask permission first before going anywhere with anyone.Don't keep secrets. Teach your children the difference between "secrets" which someone may want them to keep "forever" and "surprises." Surprises are things that make people happy and get told sooner or later. Children should know that they are always able to tell you any secret that makes them feel uncomfortable.Know how to get help. Teach your children to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. Explain that you don't need a coin to dial 9-1-1 from a pay phone.Run and Yell. If all else fails, teach your children to run and yell, two things they do well. If they are grabbed they should yell something like "help, that's not my dad." Although there are no guarantees, teach your children that if someone points a gun at them, they should take off running right away. This goes for adults as well.
It’s impossible for police to watch over every child. If you see a suspicious person hanging around places where there are children, get a description of him, his car and license number. Then call police, right away. We’d rather have you call and have it turn out to be nothing, then have you not call and end up with a tragedy.
For more information contact Sergeant Mark Buschena, 355-1874.