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Seymour Police Union Launches Aggressive Plan to Protect Kids: Child ID Program

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By Kevin Zapf Hanes and Larry Dorman Your Benefits General Good and Welfare

One AFSCME local has taken its commitment to protecting kids to a whole new level.

The Seymour Police Union, AFSCME Local 564, partnered with the Seymour, Conn., School District to distribute 3,000 Child ID Kits to families throughout the community.

The program, stemming from a partnership between AFSCME, the National Child Identification Program (NCIP) and National Football League (NFL), is aimed at arming families with the necessary tools to help the police find their missing children. The program makes kits available for free or at drastically-reduced prices.

For more information about AFSCME’s Child ID kit program, click here.

"When a parent is faced with the fact that their child is missing, it is hard for them to focus on anything else, including helping us gather necessary evidence to start the important work of bringing that child home,” said Officer Jonathan Martin, AFSCME Local 564 president. “The collection of DNA, fingerprints and even dental impressions through this program is like an insurance plan – you never want to use it, but if you do, you are sure glad you have it."

The kits contain instructions on how to collect and preserve DNA samples, fingerprints and dental impressions – important pieces of evidence that help police find missing children quickly. Parents collect the samples and store them for safekeeping in their own homes. If their children go missing, parents will have all the information in one place to provide to the police.

"You can never take too many precautions to keep your kids safe," said Jennifer Ferreira, mother of two young children. "So we really appreciate AFSCME’s efforts here in Seymour."

Sal Luciano, Council 4's executive director and an AFSCME International vice president, said that as a father himself he doesn't want any parent to undergo the pain of having their child go missing.

"But it's important that we talk about it and prepare," Luciano said. "I'm proud of the work that the Seymour Police Union did and encourage every local to take steps to help their communities prepare."