Alexandria The Alexandria Police Department has partnered with the Department of Community and Human Services to provide free SafeAssured child ID kits to families on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The kits will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Community Room on the first floor of the Alexandria Police Headquarters, located at 3600 Wheeler Avenue.
The ID kits are intended to quickly provide information important to identifying missing persons to police and broadcasters so that posters can be made.
At the event, parents will be able to fill out forms containing their information about their child, such as identifying marks and medical conditions. Video and audio of children will be recorded to show how they walk and learn their speech patterns, and their fingerprints will be digitally recorded.
All of this information will be stored on a privacy-protected mini-CD for parents to keep. Parents will also receive a full color photo data card for their child and a Parent’s Gudiebook with tips for preventing abuse.
Information about the children will be deleted from the police computers.
“We don’t have any of that information,” said Ginny Obranovich, the volunteer coordinater for the police department. “If they [parents] came back in an hour and said, ‘we need another card,’ we would have to do the whole thing over again.”
Obranovich said that two systems for the ID kits will be set up, and that she expects about 12 to 15 kits to be completed every hour.
Social workers from the Department of Community and Human Services Children will also be present at the event to go over safety tips with parents and help them find ways to discuss the subject of sexual abuse with their children.
“The fact of the matter is that child sexual abuse can happen at any time in situations that I think we as parents don’t often like to admit,” said Giselle Peleaz, executive director of Alexandria’s Center for Children. “Those who abuse children tend to be those who children are very close to or have formed relationships with parents.”
Alexandria’s Center for Children is helping with the event by working with the police department and the DCHSC to create the take-home materials for parents.
This event is one several leading up to Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.