Indiana Governor Mike Pence declared October 22, 2013 "SmileSafe Kids Day" in the Hoosier state.
The program started about 10 years ago when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children teamed up with Lifetouch School Photography. Their goal is to give current photos to police if a child went missing.
Laville Elementary is one of the schools around the area that has Lifetouch take their students school photos. Each student then gets an ID card with their picture on it, phone number and unique access code for portrait retrieval, in case of an emergency.
During the last decade, about 300 Million SmileSafe cards were given out, free of charge, to families nationwide. Almost 9 Million were distributed in Indiana alone.
And of course, having an up-to-date photo of your child if they go missing is crucial.
“Not only is the photo important but just current information, current hair style, if they have any birth marks, their height, weight, that sort of thing that way when we arrive at the house in a frantic situation of a missing son or daughter we will be able to obtain that information,” explains Sgt. Bill Redman.
If Lifetouch Photography is not in your child’s school you can take that picture yourself. Just make sure your child is in good lighting, is looking at the camera, and is not making any weird faces. You can even do it on your cell phone, so you can send it to officials faster.