Contact: Janine Kava, Press Office
(518) 457-8828
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov
www.criminaljustice.ny.gov
For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 17, 2007

Operation SAFE CHILD cards available at the New York State Fair

SYRACUSE – Parents and guardians will be able to obtain Operation SAFE CHILD cards for their children this month at the New York State Fair.

Representatives from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse will be at the fair from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Thursday, Aug. 23 through Monday, Sept. 3.

Operation SAFE CHILD provides parents or legal guardians with a card that includes their child’s/children vital information: date of birth, gender, height, weight, eye color, along with a photograph and fingerprint images of both index fingers.

Parents or guardians also can choose to have that vital information stored in a DCJS database; storage in the database is entirely voluntary and requires written consent of the parent or legal guardian. The cards are free.

If DCJS receives a missing child report, the fingerprints of that child will be included in a special search file and compared against all incoming fingerprints submitted to the agency.

Time is the greatest enemy if a child goes missing. Having up-to-date photographs and detailed information about a child can greatly assist law enforcement officials as they respond to a child’s disappearance.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and its Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse partnered with the New York State Police, New York City Police Department, New York State Sheriffs’ Association and the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police to create Operation SAFE CHILD in 2005.

Since the program’s inception in July 2005 through July 2007, more than 154,000 children in New York State have been fingerprinted and photographed through Operation SAFE CHILD.

DCJS partners with 38 law enforcement agencies across the state – including the Syracuse Police Department and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office – to offer Operation SAFE CHILD.

For more information about Operation SAFE CHILD, call 1-800-FINDKID or visit www.operationsafechild.org. For more information about the fair, visit www.nysfair.org.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including collection and analysis of statewide crime data; operation of the DNA databank and criminal fingerprint files; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry and a toll-free telephone number (1-800-262-3257) that allows anyone to research the status of an offender.