Have you ever been out shopping when one of your kids thought it would be funny they disappear in the clothing rack or around the corner of the grocery store and you thought you lost them? When you call the police for help the first questions we ask are what does your child look like, how old is your child, can you remember what they are wearing? From experience, under stressful situations it is difficult to remember key details.
National statistics show that 34 percent of parents are unaware of their child’s exact height, weight, and eye color. When a child is reported missing, time is one of the greatest adversaries. Possessing current photographs and detailed information about your child are important proactive measures that can greatly assist local law enforcement officials in quickly responding to cases involving child disappearances. Using equipment with the latest digital fingerprinting and high-resolution photography technology, the Seneca Falls Police Department is able to produce SAFECHILD cards for parents and guardians FREE OF CHARGE.
SAFECHILD cards contain the child’s name, biographical information (date of birth, height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc.) and digital fingerprint imaging. These cards are quickly produced and can be easily carried in a wallet or purse. Interested parents can also choose to store their child’s fingerprints, biographical information and photographs – information critical in expediting the return of missing children – in a state-wide database. Storage of this information is entirely voluntary and requires the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. Specific information is digitally recorded and stored in a database maintained by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services in Albany. In the event DCJS receives a missing children’s report, fingerprints of the child are included in a special search file and compared against all incoming fingerprints submitted to the agency. A parent or lawful guardian can request that the information be purged from the database at any time. When a child turns 18, the fingerprints are automatically purged from the database.
In addition to quickly providing important details to police agencies investigating child disappearances, the SAFECHILD card can be used in conjunction with the NYS AMBER Alert and Missing Child Alert programs. If a child goes missing, the SAFECHILD program allows their information to be electronically disseminated within minutes, significantly increasing the possibility of bringing a missing child home.
You can view the authorization form here. To expedite the process, print the form, complete it and bring it along with your child to a scheduled event.