BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– A match-up to fight against child abductions and trafficking.
Attorney General Jason Miyares and local legend Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer announced a partnership with the National Child ID Program on Thursday, September 22.
The goal is prior to provide child ID kits for students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades across the Commonwealth.
In 1997, the program was created by football coaches after the abduction and death of Amber Hagerman — the reason for the Amber Alert that gets distributed on public radio stations, Internet radio, satellite radio, television stations, and more.
Ever since that time, over 75 million child ID kits have been given out nationally via public-private partnerships.
Jason Miyares says, each year, over half a million children go missing.
“Every year in the country about 450-thousands children, unfortunately, run away from home. About 300,000 are abducted every year. About 58,000 are abducted by non-family members” said Miyares. “One of the passions of my office is tackling human trafficking. I like to say it’s a crime that happens in plain sight, and unfortunately about a quarter of all human trafficking cases actually involve minor children.”
In today’s press conference, Miyares read off statistics showing that in Virginia — 2,500 children have been reported missing and 400 are actively missing.
Frank Beamer also weighed in on the conversation saying child abductions affect everyone.
“Whether it is your grandkids, whether it is your child, whether it is your niece, whether it is your nephew — I mean it affects everyone, and you pray to goodness that it doesn’t happen to your family. If it does, every second counts,” said Beamer.
The National Child ID Program celebrates its 25th anniversary.