Child ID program big hit with community

 

By Joel Charron

Jessie Bastein can breathe a lot easier knowing if anything were to happen to her two small children, she will be prepared.

Bastein, a mother of two, was one of several families who arrived at the United Communities Credit Union for the Child Identification Program at Saturday morning.

The Child Identification Program uses modern, police-approved techniques to create a child identification kit for the ones you love. The kit collects photos, video, voice recordings, digital fingerprints, dental impressions, saliva swabs as well as traditional statistical information (height, weight, hair and eye color, etc.). This information is matched to work seamlessly with Ontario’s law enforcement providers. By being so compatible, the critical identifying information can be broadcast and shared more quickly than ever before to assist with the safe recovery of missing children. The program is brought exclusively to families by

dedicated Masons, Amherstburg Police and the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee (ACBPC); free of charge along with the sentiment that they hope you never need to use it.

 

Jessie Bastein holds her three-year-old son Noah as he prepares to give a voice sample to the program volunteers. Bastien’s five-year-old daughter, Ella, also provided a voice sample.

Jessie Bastein holds her three-year-old son Noah as he prepares to give a voice sample to the program volunteers. Bastien’s five-year-old daughter, Ella, also provided a voice sample.

“I will be able to sleep a little better at night,” said Bastein. According to ACBPC president Dave Stobb, 165 children received kits.

“The Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee  along with the Amherstburg Police and Masons are very pleased with this turnout and happy that we could provide the town with such an important event,” said Stobb.

Although the lineup was long and families were waiting up 45 minutes, Bastein said it was worth the wait.

“For what it can save in the long run, any amount of time parents have to wait, it’s worth it,” she said.

Senior Const. Melissa Taylor said when a local Mason arrived at the Amherstburg Police Station in the summer to demonstrate to her and the ACBPC the program; Taylor said they knew right away they needed to bring this program to Amherstburg.

“I’ve had a lot of parent come up to me and ask ‘you’re a mom…would you do this?’ this is why I wanted to bring this program to town,” she said.

“No one wants to think of the most tragic situation but what you can do is think of the opposite where the child wanders off and now you have this disk you hand to the police where you have all this information, we can put it the computers in the car and we have everything we need right there,” Taylor continued.

Phil Hernandez, regional coordinator for the Child ID program said the new way of gathering information and fingerprints is much easier and faster then the old way.

“No black ink,” he joked. “Parent don’t want that black stuff on their kids hands, it’s hard to clean off,” he said.

Hernandez noted that this program is essential for parents and stated that every family who showed up for the program would be leaving with a CD, regardless how long it would take.

“It’s important these children are protected,” stated Hernandez. “When you look at all these little faces you see they need protection, that’s what’s really important.”

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