With its KidCare program in its 12th year, Cary police officers provide parents with free safety identification kits.
The department says the program is its way of helping to reduce the 2,001 children reported missing each day.
"It is a parents worst nightmare that something could happen to their children and it makes me tear up just thinking about it," says parent Jenna Sheperd. "You want to be prepared, and you want to be able to say I have this for my child, you can identify my child by this."
Parents take home a photograph of their child, a set of fingerprints and reminders to keep the pictures up to date.
Cary police say the child identification program is not just a "feel good" program for families, but that it is one of the most valuable tools a parent can have to help police locate a missing child.
"If a child is lost or abducted, a picture's worth a thousand words. All this information is vital," says Officer Jim Greer of the Cary Police Department.
Police advise parents and guardians to keep the KidCare ID kit with other valuable documents such as passports, children's birth certificates and the deed to their home.
Many local police departments partner with local businesses to provide the identification kits. To find out how to participate, or when a similar event will be held, call your local police department.