Kid Safe Program

The Orono Police Department is creating a new program to assist those in our community who may have special needs. In the case of a missing child, it is always essential that law enforcement is able to respond quickly. It is even more critical when children with special needs go missing, since there are disabilities that create a greater challenge for responding law enforcement to understand and communicate effectively with the missing child.

We understand that there are certain “triggers” that may assist our officers to communicate with a special needs child. Maybe the child is non-verbal and there are other types of communication methods used that would be essential information to know. Sometimes a child may react negatively to people in uniform, wearing hats, emergency lighting, etc. The child may have a tendency to gravitate towards bodies of water, like individuals on the autism spectrum.

It is our goal to attain as much upfront information pertaining to a child with special needs as possible, since time is of the essence when dealing with a missing child. We have developed an information packet to be completed by any parent or guardian of a special needs child who would like to place their information within our secured law enforcement database that would allow our officers to immediately access pertinent information about your child in case it is needed. Please view the Kidsafe Program Form (PDF).

More information about this program

With all of the advances in technology, all of our vehicles are now equipped with mobile data terminals (computers). This will allow our officers responding to a call of a missing child to look up all of the provided information in the packets prepared by the parents or guardians. Officers will have instant access to aerial photos of your neighborhood or child’s school, a recent photo of your child, and specific information pertaining to your child’s special needs just by checking their name file.

All of the information that will be available to our officers will assist the supervisor on-duty to coordinate a more in depth search if necessary. This information will be kept confidential and will only be available to law enforcement officers and public safety dispatchers. In the event that a call is received regarding a registered individual the information provided will immediately be brought to the attention of the responding officers.

Obviously, it would be nice if we never had to use any of this information. However, in the event that we do, we are in hopes that our preparation will provide us with the greatest opportunity to be successful in keeping our citizens safe. Anyone wishing to participate in this program can fill out the necessary forms and release. Any questions please feel free to reach Captain Scott Scripture at 866-4000 or by email (sscripture@orono.org)