Division of Criminal Justice Services

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Contact: Janine Kava, Press Office
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
(518) 457-8828 or (518) 275-5508 – cell
For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 14, 2008

Operation SAFE CHILD reaches milestone
More than 200,000 children registered through program

More than 200,000 children are now registered through Operation SAFE CHILD, a state initiative that provides parents with free cards containing their children’s vital information – including fingerprints – that can be provided to law enforcement immediately if a child goes missing.

“Time is the greatest enemy if a child goes missing,” said Denise E. O’Donnell, commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). “Operation SAFE CHILD allows parents to have their son or daughter’s information stored in a secure database so that it can be disseminated instantly if the child is abducted or lost.”

“Having up-to-date photographs and detailed information about a child can greatly assist law enforcement in their search,” added O’Donnell, who also serves as assistant secretary to the governor for criminal justice.

To date, 200,814 children have been registered through Operation SAFE CHILD. DCJS currently partners with 54 law enforcement agencies across New York State to offer Operation SAFE CHILD cards in their communities.

DCJS and its Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse launched the initiative in 2005 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.

The SAFE CHILD card includes a child’s vital information: date of birth, gender, height, weight and eye color, along with a photograph and fingerprints of both index fingers. Parents can obtain SAFE CHILD cards from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at DCJS’s headquarters, 4 Tower Place (behind Stuyvesant Plaza) in Albany.

For more information about SAFE CHILD events across the state, call 1-800-FINDKID or visit www.operationsafechild.org. The following agencies participate in Operation SAFE CHILD:

Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the following police agencies: Albany Police Department; Buffalo Police Department; Cheektowaga Police Department; Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department; New York City Police Department; New York State Police; Rochester Police Department; Rotterdam Police Department; Saratoga Springs Police Department; Seneca Falls Police Department; Syracuse Police Department; Ulster Police Department; the Westchester County Department of Public Safety; Yonkers Police Department.

Also, Sheriff’s Offices in the following counties: Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Fulton, Genesee, Herkimer, Jefferson, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Otsego, Oswego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schuyler, St. Lawrence,  Suffolk, Ulster, Warren, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates.