MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is encouraging parents to download a new app that helps report a missing child.
The smart phone tool called the FBI Child ID app uses critical information like current photos and descriptions of the child so the search can begin immediately.
The app allows parents to send photos of their child, along with details such as height and weight to thousands of law enforcement officers with just one touch.
“If your child were to go missing, with one push of a button this information is transmitted quicker than you can dial 911,” said FBI Special Agent Timothy Gallagher
He has been working on missing child cases for more than 20 years.
“The first few hours when a child goes missing are critical and the information which we need to obtain many times has to come from the parent,” said Gallagher.
It can be tough getting an accurate description from panicked parents.
“I remember working these cases 15 years ago and you had to go a parent who had lost a child and were fishing around for pictures and trying to remember what their height and weight and descriptors are,” said Gallagher.
Since the app’s launch more than 140,000 people have downloaded it to their smart phones and tablets.
The FBI is encouraging parents to download the free app as kids start their summer activities.
The department says it does not collect or store any information entered into the app.