NEWS: Tribal Health Funds Child ID Program

Friday, September 30, 2016

LAKEPORT, CA (September 12, 2016) When a child goes missing, information is power.

In the case of a lost, runaway or abducted child, the Sheriff’s department never hesitates to begin the search.  However, knowing details such as the color of a child’s bike can determine how quickly law enforcement finds him or her. 

Lake County Tribal Health Consortium (LCTHC) recently donated $20,000 to the sheriff’s department to fund a child identification program that helps parents prepare for an emergency.

“We want the children in our community to be safe,” said Ernesto Padilla, executive director, LCTHC.  “Tribal Health strives to go beyond health care when it comes to Lake County.  As part of our initiative to expand pediatric care, our team considered child safety during an emergency a top priority.”

“We collect for the child’s parent all of the information that’s sent out in an Amber Alert,” said Captain Chris Chwialkowski of the Lake County sheriff’s department.  “We briefly interview the child to ask them questions, such as where the child goes when upset.  We take fingerprints, print an ID card, and store all the information on a CD for the parent.”

The child ID kit remains ready should the parents ever need it. 

“We don’t store any of the child’s information,” said Chwialkowski.  “By design, the program erases each child’s information immediately.  But the parents have it if needed.”

While child disappearance and abduction isn’t common in Lake County, it does happen occasionally according to Chwialkowski.  

“Unfortunately, sometimes when parents split up one of them will take the child across state lines.  It’s important for law enforcement to know the child’s description.”

The program is free to parents and takes fewer than ten minutes.  The sheriff’s department currently offers child ID registry at public events such as the Heroes of Health and Safety Fair.  For more information, contact the Lake County Sheriff Department at (707) 262 – 4080.