Contact: Janine Kava, Press Office
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
(518) 457-8828 or (518) 275-5508 – cell
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov
www.criminaljustice.ny.gov

For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 3, 2007

DCJS partners with 13 new law enforcement agencies
to offer Operation SAFE CHILD cards to parents, guardians

Thirteen law enforcement agencies in New York State – 11 sheriffs and two police departments – are the newest agencies to partner with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services to offer Operation SAFE CHILD cards in their communities.

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

The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) provided sheriffs in Columbia, Essex, Fulton, Herkimer, Livingston, Montgomery, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence and Warren counties, and Yonkers (Westchester County) police departments, with approximately $15,000 to purchase the equipment necessary – including a printer, camera and fingerprint scanner – for the SAFE CHILD initiative. The Rotterdam (Schenectady County) Police Department also is a new partner in the initiative, but the department used its own funds to purchase the equipment.

With the addition of these new agencies, DCJS now partners with 55 law enforcement agencies in the state to offer Operation SAFE CHILD. The initiative began in 2005 by DCJS and its Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse in partnership 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.

If the parent or guardian wishes, their son or daughter’s information will be stored in a secure database so that it can be disseminated instantly if the child is abducted or lost. 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.

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

The 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.