Through the efforts of Sheriff Donald B. Smith, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to provide “Operation Safe Child” for families across Putnam County.
“Operation Safe Child” is a new crime prevention initiative whereby Sheriff’s investigators, using equipment consisting of the latest digital fingerprinting technology and high resolution photography capabilities, produce Safe Child identification cards for parents and guardians. These 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 five minutes and can be easily carried in a wallet or pocketbook. In the event a child is missing, this card can be immediately presented to law enforcement officials, eliminating the wasted time that is often used to gather information rather than searching for the missing child. The information is stored on a secure server at the Division of Criminal Justice Services in Albany where it is immediately available to any law enforcement agency in the United States and Canada that has a report of a missing child. Once the information is in the database in Albany, it is removed from the Sheriff’s Office’s computer hard drive and it is not transmitted over the Internet so there is no security issue. Furthermore, the information stored in Albany is purged on the child’s 18th birthday.
In addition to being able to quickly provide important details to police agencies investigating a child’s disappearance, the New York State Safe Child identification card will serve as an important tool when used in conjunction with the New York State Amber Alert and the New York State DCJS Missing Child Alert programs. These identification 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.
“Operation Safe Child” is available to anyone in Putnam County at no cost as a public service. Any organization interested in hosting a child safety event with “Operation Safe Child” may contact Senior Investigator John Alfano at the Sheriff’s Department by calling (845) 225-4300 x42273.
Individual requests will be facilitated by appointment only.