Madison Police say you shouldn't wait to report missing children

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MADISON Ala. - Three children were reported missing this week. Thankfully, the Madison Police Department found them. That prompted the department to post some important information on its Facebook page.

Madison Police found an 11-year-old and two 15-year-old teens who went missing this week.

"You need to pick up the phone and give the police a call because there are some things we can do to try to help you and locate the child incredibly quick," said Madison Police Department Major John Stringer.

But some parents don't call 911 fast enough. Stringer said you shouldn't wait to report a missing child.

"We had one of the circumstances where it was known that the child was missing the night before," he said.

Children can hide in places parents won't think to check.

"Very often we'll find the parents didn't do a very good thorough search of the home and the child is actually hiding inside the home," said Stringer.

If your child ever goes missing, police can count on a tool that parents can keep at home. It's called a Child Identification Fingerprinting Kit.  If they're missing, you have a kit on hand police can use to track them down. Stringer said it will not go into a national database.

"If the child does go missing, then you've got it. We don't keep it on file." Stringer said. "It's strictly for the parent to have."

Stringer said you should update pictures fingerprints every year as the children get older.

"If the child is endangered," he said, "the clock is ticking."

Parents can pick up a Child Identification Fingerprinting Kit at the Madison Police Department. Police say they hope you never need to use it.