Sheriff Dale R. Gribler is pleased to announce that the Van Buren County
Sheriff’s Office has purchased equipment to fingerprint and photograph
children. This equipment was purchased from Sentry Technologies of Charlotte,
NC and has proprietary printing and auto-capture features that allows for quick
fingerprinting and photo capture. The prints are captured electronically
instead of using ink as in the past so there is no clean-up required. From
start to finish less than five minutes is required. The $3,417 equipment was
made available through a Public Safety Grant.
Why it is
important to have your child fingerprinted and photographed.
to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
85% to 90% of the 876,213 persons reported
missing to America’s law enforcement agencies in 2000 were juveniles (persons
under 18 years of age). That means that 2,100 times per day parents or
primary care givers felt the disappearance was serious enough to call law
152,265 of the persons reported missing in 2000
was categorized as either endangered or involuntary.
The number of missing persons reported to law
enforcement has increased from 154,341 in 1982 to 876,213 in 2000. That is an
increase of 468%.
When tragedy strikes involving children
time is critical, this technology will help law enforcement in their
said Sheriff Gribler.
These numbers are staggering and most families are not prepared to handle a
missing child. The better prepared you are to assist law enforcement the
greater the chances of a successful recovery.
Child Identifying Tools
If you believe that a predator has taken your child have the following items on
hand for the responding officer:
Identifying information, an updated photograph,
and a detailed description of what the child was wearing.
If you have a fingerprint card of DNA samples,
please make them immediately available.
Detailed description of what the child may have
taken with them or had with them when they disappeared. This would include
money, luggage, photographs and letters, maps or travel brochures.
Everything in terms of routes or destinations
that you child would be familiar with including individuals they may visit and
Names, addresses and phone numbers of their
friends, acquaintances and anybody else they would potentially have been in
Make your home computer available to law
enforcement so they can check browser history, document history, messenger
contacts, e-mail flow and any other clues that might be learned from your hard
Go through the child’s belongings and give law
enforcement any diaries, letters or other unusual documents that you might
Check clean-dirty clothing for anything
unfamiliar or may otherwise give you a clue.
Check most recent phone bills for anything out
of the ordinary or you are unaware of.
Look for anything that will give you a clue as
to your child’s state of mind including input from friends and neighbors. It
might help you and law enforcement to determine if your child has been stolen,
lured, or is a runaway. Remember, you are trying to limit the possibilities.
You should also contact your child’s doctor and
dentist about releasing medical and dental records.
Collect scent articles like dirty underwear,
socks, and pajamas and store them in separate plastic bags as soon as possible
for potential search dogs. Do the same with hairbrushes and toothbrushes.
Make these articles available to law enforcement and encourage them to
facilitate search and rescue efforts if that option is viable.
With scarce law enforcement resources,
we are fortunate to have a great group of volunteers to work with local civic
organizations who wish to host a safety program,
Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office service is available at no charge and can be
scheduled for your community, school or civic event. The program is being
handled by the Sheriff’s Office Reserve unit. Contact
Reserve Captain Rodney
Bridgeforth at 269-655-6518
email for more information or to schedule an event.