SEYMOUR, Conn. (WTNH) — Four years ago, Seymour schools partnered with the NFL to protect students with ID kids. Now they’re bringing the project back with a different partner.
Rich Kearns is the safety director for Seymour schools. He’s in charge of keeping the building safe. But for him, he wants to make sure students are also protected outside the walls of the school buildings.
The Valley Community Foundation and Seymour Oxford Lions Club funded each of the 3,000 ID kits for students throughout the district.
“The typical kit if someone wanted to buy it online or from an organization is $5-7 a piece, and we did it $1.25-1.50 a piece,” Kearns explained.
The kit contains a lot of resources: medical information chart, ink strip for fingerprinting, even DNA swab kit.
It’s a partnership with Seymour schools and Seymour Police Department and the FBI.
“The FBI was the catalyst for us doing these kits,” Kearns said.
“The child ID app literally puts your child’s safety in your hands,” said JoAnn Benson, Community Outreach Specialist FBI New Haven Field Office.
Any information you log in the app remains locked until you need to release it to the police. So now, if anything were to happen to a child and they were to go missing, these kits and the app help police track them down.
“It’s just critical to have them and all that information in a time of need,” Seymour Chief of Police Paul Satkowski said.
Michael Wilson, superintendent of Seymour schools added, “That’s a lot of kits but Mr. Kearns and the Seymour police department have worked tirelessly. They have over 3,000 kits ready to hand out.”
In fact, we were there as they made their first hand out Thursday. Seymour Police helped hand out the kits to their first set of students.
Kearns: “I’m a retired police officer and during my career, I have dealt with many missing children cases including an abduction so I know at the time of these situations, information is critical to get out to law enforcement. I know that as a police officer and being involved in investigating an abduction as well as missing children.”
And now he’s looking at the program through a different lens, having a deeper appreciation for it: “As a grandfather, I’m just ecstatic about it.”