Across LaSalle Parish further safety measures for children are being implemented through the Sheriff Office’s EZ Child ID Program, which has been offered free to families since its implementation in January 2014.
According to LaSalle Deputy Sheriff and D.A.R.E. Officer Jenny Parker, this self-contained mobile child ID unit system, provides peace of mind, knowing that in an emergency involving a missing or kidnapped child, parents will have data needed to assist law enforcement and for publicizing through Amber Alert and other media agencies as well as identifying the missing child when found.
“I think it’s very important to do what we can to keep children safe and this is just another tool for parents to have if something happens to their children,” Parker said. “Our use of the EZ Child ID Program grew out of a need to fingerprint children when all we had was the outdated fingerprinting process with ink and paper. I found the program, searched for a grant, and the grant was funded through Entergy. The program is now funded by the LPSO.”
According to the EZ Child ID System’s official website, the system is a comprehensive digital fingerprint child identification system equipped with fingerprint analysis software that makes sure necessary “points” on the fingerprint are obtained. Law enforcement will utilize the child’s fingerprints and other information gathered through the ID system in case of emergencies involving missing or kidnapped children.
Parker said she is assisted with the program by Homeland Security Assistant Director Dana Chapman, and that she and Chapman are currently at parish pre-kindergarten and second grade classes administering the program. She said forms have been sent home with students and parents must sign the consent forms for their child to participate.
“What makes this program unique is that it captures the points on the fingerprints, digital voice and video and then saves all the identifying information to a computer disk, which is only for the parents to keep in a safe place,” Parker said. “The sheriff’s department doesn’t keep any of the information. The files are automatically deleted after the disk is created. The parents have the only disk.”
Parker recommends that if a parent does not feel comfortable allowing their child to be fingerprinted or have a video and pictures taken, they should at least have their children’s fingerprints on paper and recent pictures of their children on their cell phones just in case something happens and their child is missing or has been kidnapped.
“Fingerprints never change but a child’s height, weight, voice and features change,” Parker said. “I’m limited on the amount of time I can go into the schools with this program due to my other responsibilities within the sheriff’s department, so these changes are why I chose Pre-K and second grade for the system. If parents would like their child to participate in the program, we recommend the child’s ID information be updated every 3-5 years.”
Parker will be at the following schools at times indicated: Nebo Elementary School – March 7, Temple Christian Academy – March 29, Jena Elementary School – April 10 & 11, Olla Elementary School – April 12 & 13 and LaSalle Head Start – TBA.
Parker added that if any parent is interested in having their child participate in this program to contact her. She also said the system is not only for children but for any person who has autism, Alzheimer or other medical conditions where the person might roam. For more information, contact Parker at the LPSO at 992-7364 or 992-2151.
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LaSalle Parish Deputy Sheriff and D.A.R.E. Officer Jenny Parker takes digital fingerprints of Fellowship Elementary Pre-Kindergartener Baily Hudnall, daughter of Alexis Hudnall, as part of the Sheriff Office’s EZ Child ID Program. This program, the only self-contained mobile child ID unit in the country, is a free service to families and provides peace of mind, knowing that in an emergency involving a missing or kidnapped child, they will have data needed to assist law enforcement and for publicizing through Amber Alert and other media agencies as well as identify the missing child when found.
Fellowship Elementary Pre-Kindergartener Nathan Richard has his height recorded by LaSalle Parish Assistant Director of Homeland Security Dana Chapman as part of the LaSalle Parish Sheriff Office’s EZ Child ID Program. The program, implemented in January 2014, is a free service to families and provides peace of mind, knowing that in an emergency involving a missing or kidnapped child, they will have data needed to assist law enforcement and for publicizing through Amber Alert and other media agencies as well as identify the missing child when found. For more information, contact the LPSO at 992-2151. Nathan is the son of Adam and Charlene Richard.
Fellowship Elementary Pre-Kindergartener Bran Hudspeth awaits instruction from LaSalle Parish Deputy Sheriff and D.A.R.E. Officer Jenny Parker to answer questions while she videos as part of the LaSalle Parish Sheriff Office’s EZ Child ID Program. During spring semester, pre-kindergarteners and second graders across the parish are set to participate in the program.