Operation Family I.D.

  • By Spokane C.O.P.S.
  • 16 Sep, 2015

Supporting the Missing & Exploited Children and Amber Alert

Operation Family ID (OFID) is a community service program directly tied into the Missing & Exploited Children Organization and Amber Alert. This program is administered by Spokane C.O.P.S. in collaboration with the Spokane Police Department and S.C.O.P.E. (Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort).

For any person who is at risk for disappearing in the community (children, elderly persons with dementia, persons with developmental disabilities), C.O.P.S. will create an identification kit with the person’s important information including a digital photograph, fingerprints, and the person’s personal information such as name, address, height and weight. The kits are given to the parent or guardian. In the event a loved one comes up missing, a family member can forward the critical information quickly to local law enforcement agencies to provide law enforcement with the information needed to help find your loved one quickly. We recommend that you update the identification kit at least once a year to keep it current. There is no age limit, but children must be accompanied by a parent as the finished kit will only be released to the parent or guardian. In addition to parents bringing their children to the substations, volunteers provide the Operation ID service at various safety fairs, daycare's, bike rodeos, nursing and care facilities, schools and business open houses.

If you know someone that could be a flight risk in the community, please give us a call and we can set up a time to provide this valuable information for you. If you oversee a program or living site for the elderly or persons with developmental disabilities, we encourage you to contact us. A volunteer will go to your location to make this service available for those people in your care.

Our services are always free, though donations are gladly accepted.


The History behind Operation Family I.D.

On May 25, 1979, six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer, was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the nation and around the world. Etan became the poster-child for a movement. The powerful image came to symbolize the anguish and trauma of thousands of searching families.

The widespread attention brought to Etan’s case and several others eventually led to a nationwide movement to help locate and recover missing children. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th – the day that Etan went missing – as National Missing Children’s Day. Since then, each administration has recognized this day as a time to renew efforts to reunite missing children with their families, remember those who are still missing, and make child safety a national priority.

Operation Family Identification (OFID) is a community service program directly tied into the Missing & Exploited Children Organization and Amber Alert.  This program is administered by Spokane C.O.P.S. in collaboration with the Spokane Police Department and S.C.O.P.E. (Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort).

Identification kits include a digital photograph and fingerprints.  The kits are given to participating families.  In the event a loved one comes up missing, a family member can forward the critical information quickly to local law enforcement agencies for the production of flyers and even nationwide distribution.

We recommend digital photos be updated annually.  A $1.00 donation is requested to cover costs; however, no child will be turned away because of inability to donate. Children must be accompanied by a parent as the finished kit will not be given back to the children.  There is no age limit. In addition to parents bringing their children to the substations, volunteers attended various safety fairs, daycares, bike rodeos and business open houses.

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Over 7,000 cases of personal property theft have been recorded so far this year (up 4.5% from this time last year). In many of these cases, Spokane police officers are able to recover the stolen property...with no way of identifying the owner. When they can’t find the owner, the items eventually go to auction to free up much needed space in the police evidence facility. This raises an important question-if your property is stolen and recovered by police, would you be able to prove it’s yours?

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For more crime prevention information, check out our Facebook , Twitter , Linkedin , and Pinterest .
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