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Safe Child ID Card Program

Partnership with Saratoga Springs Police Department and Division of Criminal Justice Services

Operation SAFE CHILD was created in July 2005 to raise awareness about child safety. Through an historic 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 Division of Criminal Justice Services and its Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse have expanded Operation SAFE CHILD into a multi-pronged campaign teaching parents and guardians three tools to keeping children safe in today’s world:

1.  Know your Child’s Information by Obtaining a SAFE CHILD card

Statistics show that 34 percent of parents in the United States do not know their child’s exact height, weight and eye color. And, when a child is reported missing, time can be the greatest adversary. Possessing up-to-date photographs and detailed information about a child can prove to be important proactive measures that can greatly assist local law enforcement officials to quickly respond to a child’s disappearance.

Using equipment that contains the latest digital fingerprinting technology and high resolution photography capabilities,55 sites around New York Sate are able to produce a SAFE CHILD card for parents and guardians.

The cards contain a child’s name, biographical information (date of birth, gender, height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc.), and a fingerprint image of both index fingers. The card can be made in less than two minutes and can be easily carried in a wallet or pocketbook. Interested parents can choose to store the fingerprints, basic biographical information and photographs of children who are not missing — information critical to expediting the return of a missing child. The storage of information is entirely voluntary and requires the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. The information gathered is digitally recorded and stored in a database at the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in Albany. In the event 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.

In addition to being able to quickly provide important details to police agencies investigating child disappearances, the New York State SAFE CHILD Card will serve as an important tool when used in conjunction with the New York State AMBER Alert and Missing Child Alert programs. These cards will allow essential missing child information to be electronically disseminated, statewide if necessary, within minutes and dramatically increase the possibility of bringing a missing child home unharmed by contacting the Saratoga Springs Police Department if you live in Saratoga County.

Investigator Glen Vidnansky
Saratoga Springs Police Department
5 Lake Avenue
Saratoga Springs, New York 12866-2298
518-584-1800 x604
Hours: Call for hours of availability

2.  Know your Child’s Friends by learning about Internet Safety

The development of the Internet has been called the most profound change in the way the world communicates since the invention of the printing press. The Internet offers exciting and unprecedented opportunities for children and families to obtain and share information. In our rapidly changing world, however, all roads to the Internet are not as safe as they may seem.
Since parents and guardians play such a crucial role in promoting online safety, the Division of Criminal Justices’ Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse has developed a 45-minute Internet Safety Presentation for parents and teachers that focuses on providing straight-forward information about the safety challenges created through the Internet and preventative actions that can be taken to protect our children.

3. Know your Neighborhood by using the New York State Sex Offender Registry

New York State’s Megan’s Law became effective in 1996, and was expanded in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006 and requires a sex offender convicted for a registerable sex offense to register with the State’s Sex Offender Registry; currently there are over 40 registerable offenses and more than 23,000 registered sex offenders living in New York State.

There are three ways to obtain information about sex offenders in New York State:

  1. New York State’s Sex offender Information Line: (800) 262-3257. You will need the name of the offender and one of the following four identifiers: an exact address, a complete date of birth, a driver’s license number or a social security number.
  2. The New York State Subdirectory.  There, interested individuals can search for level 2 and 3 offenders by name, county or zip code.
  3. The local law enforcement agency where the offender currently resides, can, if it chooses, release information on sex offenders residing in the community.