Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Police Department

Today I took the kids to the City of Fairfax Police Department.

Before I get into why I was at the police station, I have a little vignette to tell you:

We were in the parking lot on our way into the building. There was a policeman who had just gotten out of his cruiser and was on the way into the building. Sybella says, "Mom, that's a Police Man." I responded, "you're right Sybella, that is a Police Man." She then says in an adorable, sing-song, 2-yr-old voice, "I Liiiiike him!" It was too cute.

OK, back to why I was actually at the Police Station: The Optimist Club of Fairfax was assisting the Police Department in hosting a SafeAssured ID Program.

You may not know what the program is, The SafeAssured privacy-protected mini-CD offers a single repository of important information:

· All ten electronically imaged fingerprints

· Digital photograph

· Streaming video showing mannerisms and gait with linked audio file providing the child's voice inflection and accent.

· Private information (general physical description, street address, date of birth, life-threatening medical conditions, identifying scars or marks, and tattoos)

· Ability to create missing person poster from the mini-CD

Families also receive a full-color photo data card and a Parents' Guidebook with prevention tips, written in conjunction with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Essentially, you have everything you need to launch a National Amber alert and provide identification data to the police, all at your fingertips. I hope to NEVER need the CD and ID card that I was provided for each of the kids, but I would rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it! The experience also provided me with an opportunity to review safety information with the kids including our family "password," how to handle encounters with strangers, how a 911 call works, etc.

The Program we attended today was Free of Charge and they did a CD/ID card for each of my 4 kids (the baby's CD did not include a streaming video of him walking and talking since he doesn't do that yet-- but does have a photo and his fingerprints!).

This was a great experience, an awesome resource, and the kids loved interacting with the police officers and volunteers.

Note: Most organizations offer this service for between $0 and $10. It is recommended that you update your child's kit every year because kids change so dramatically from year to year. Check with your local police department, Optimist Club, or the SafeAssured ID event site to find an event near you!

1 comment:

Joel Craig said...

Raising well rounded, respectful but independent children is a great dream.

Love Dad