The state calls attention to the problem of missing kids, on Wisconsin's Missing Children and Adults Awareness Day. At a ceremony at the state capitol Thursday, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen recognizes the plight of missing children and adults, saying it's very important for the state government to protect those who can't protect themselves. "Protecting our children, protecting our families, has to be of utmost importance."

The first-year state attorney general says more than 1,000 Wisconsinites are currently missing. "We have now, as of this time, over 800 missing children in the state of Wisconsin alone, and 255 missing adults."

Van Hollen says the Department of Justice is working on prevention, making sure people don't become victims in the first place. His agency is also working on awareness, educating kids in schools and their parents, and creating a strong deterrent for would-be criminals. Van Hollen touts Wisconsin's role as a national leader with the Amber Alert system, the Internet Crimes Against Children effort, and his agency's effort to reduce the DNA backlog. "To make sure that we can take people off the streets, identify who they are before they are able to commit one homicide, one more sexual assault, one more kidnapping."

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:26 MP3)

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