Frederick bill to protect special-needs children gains House approval

Categories: Frederick News

State Rep. Ben Frederick’s bill to offer an added layer of protection for special-needs children received unanimous approval today from the Michigan House of Representatives.

The Owosso representative’s first bill approved by the House gives the parent or guardian of a special-needs child the option to place the child’s photograph and fingerprints on file with the Michigan State Police and the national Automated Fingerprint Identification System database. That information would then be easily accessible to emergency responders in the event of a lost or missing child.

Frederick, who has two special-needs children, said the program will give families some added peace of mind.

“Many special-needs kids are completely non-verbal, and countless others would have a hard time communicating even basic information if they found themselves in a situation where they were lost, scared and surrounded by strangers,” Frederick said. “If a child’s photo and fingerprints are on file, emergency responders will be able to simply scan his or her finger or use facial recognition software to quickly identify who they are and reunite them with family.”

The program would be strictly voluntary, and photographs and fingerprints would be removed from the system at the request of the parent. Frederick noted that the parent or guardian would cover the fee associated with adding the child to either database.

House Bill 4137 now moves to the Senate for consideration.