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Detroit schools issue 'child safety ID cards' to some students

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

The Detroit Public Schools will start issuing “child safety ID cards” in some elementary schools.

The ID card will contain a child’s picture, fingerprint, and other identifying information. Participation is voluntary.

District officials say the cards could help find and identify missing children more quickly.

The district will give one card to parents, and keep the information on file. They say the district will only share the card’s information with law enforcement in the event of an emergency.

“This is going to stay in the DPS database. It’s not going to come to the state police. It’s not going to go into a criminal database,” said Lieutenant Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. “The only time it would be used is…when they have a lost child.”

“I think it’s a great tool for law enforcement to help keep kids safe,” said Detroit Public Schools Police Chief Roderick Grimes. “It will be efficient and effective to have this information at hand, at the ready, as soon as we get notice that a child is missing.”

The district plans to start issuing the cards as a pilot project in four elementary schools. If it’s successful, they hope to expand the program district-wide for K-8 students.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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