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Buffalo Common Council urges use of ID kits to help find missing children | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


The Buffalo Common Council is calling on the city’s Police Department and Buffalo Public Schools to implement child identification kits for all kids in the city, including BPS students.

The aim is to expedite the identification process in cases involving missing or endangered children while also enhancing child protection efforts.

The kits provide vital information – such as height, weight and other descriptors – that can contribute to the prompt identification of missing children, according to a resolution by University District Council Member Rasheed N.C. Wyatt unanimously adopted by the Council last week. And they are invaluable tools in safeguarding children and aiding law enforcement agencies in their search and recovery efforts, according to the resolution.

The inclusion of DNA samples in these kits has been particularly effective in expediting the identification process, increasing the likelihood of locating missing children swiftly, backers say.

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In its resolution, the Council requested that police and the Buffalo Board of Education provide a detailed report on the feasibility, costs and logistics of implementing the child ID kits, including DNA samples. The measure also was referred to the Council’s Police Oversight Committee.

The Council urges the Police Department and school system to work with parents, guardians and community organizations to gain their input and involvement in the development and implementation of the protocols and consider best practices from successful initiatives in other jurisdictions. Virginia and Texas, for example, have successfully implemented child ID kits, yielding positive outcomes in ensuring the well-being of children, the Council said.

Inspired by the success of efforts like the Child Safe Kit program sponsored by a national insurance conglomeration, the Council wants to reinforce child safety measures within the city. Recent incidents involving missing children in the community have underscored the urgency of implementing proactive measures that protect this vulnerable population, the measure read.

On May 24, for instance, the Police Department posted on its Facebook page that a 13-year-old girl as well as a 15-year-old girl went missing. Both were located safely, according to the updates. The day before, BPS was asking for help in locating a 12-year-old boy, who was also found safely.

Wyatt noted there used to be a children’s identification program “many years ago.”

“I think my children got those children IDs and for some reason we stopped, but we need to revisit this because there’s too often that children are going missing. Parents, caregivers are scrambling to try to get information: their height, their size, their weight, fingerprints and those things,” he said. “I’m hopeful that the School Board will hear us along with the Buffalo Police and put something in place by the fall.

“This is a crisis I believe, because again every other day you see an alert about a child missing. So I’m hoping that we can use the vehicles that we have within our organizations to really make this happen to give parents a little piece of mind. You don’t want your child to be missing, but if they do become missing, we have some documentation, something that we can share with law enforcement or others who are participating to try to recapture and find that child.”

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