LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Livingston County’s extremely thorough child identification initiative is considered the most extensive in the nation.
According to a press release from Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty, the child ID program takes and stores fingerprint, dental impressions and DNA from as many children as possible using several law enforcement partnerships.
“Through several partnerships, child by child, Livingston County kids are becoming safer through vital stored data,” said Dougherty in the release. “Not only do the children get fingerprinted but the process also includes a styrene bite plate that the child bites down on for teeth impressions. These impressions can be compared to dental records. A cotton swab is used to gather a D.N.A. sample by swabbing inside the child’s cheek. The process is simple, painless and only takes a few moments to do so. To our knowledge this is the most extensive child I.D. program in the entire nation.”
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the Livingston District Masonic Association have been busy fingerprinting children over the past few weeks in schools throughout Livingston County. This service is funded by the Livingston County Coalition of Patrol Services (LCCOPS), the Livingston County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Livingston District Masonic Association.
The Sheriff’s Office offers Operation Safe Child ID Cards for parents and guardians to carry in a wallet or purse.
“Statistics show that 34 percent of parents in the United States do not know their child’s exact height, weight and eye color,” said Dougherty. “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 an important proactive measure that can greatly assist local law enforcement officials to quickly respond to a child’s disappearance.”
The Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with questions about these or other services to call the Sheriff’s Office Community Policing Officer, Deputy Mike Didas, at (585) 243-7100.
Deputy Didas provided complete DNA, fingerprint, photo and dental impression kits to the following schools and children since Nov. 1: 61 kits to York Central School on Nov. 1; 82 kits to Avon Central School on Nov. 2; 53 kits to the Cal-Mum School District on Nov. 4; 31 kits to Genesee Country Christian School on Nov. 7; 127 kits to Honeoye Falls-Lima on Nov. 9; and 117 kits to Dansville Central Schools on Nov. 10.