Bill would add layer of protection for people with special needs - WNEM TV 5

Bill would add layer of protection for people with special needs

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State Rep. Ben Frederick, right, is joined by Sgt. Doug Chapman of the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office to speak in support of legislation before the House Judiciary Committee. (Photo provided) State Rep. Ben Frederick, right, is joined by Sgt. Doug Chapman of the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office to speak in support of legislation before the House Judiciary Committee. (Photo provided)
SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A local sheriff and state representative are speaking out in support of legislation that would offer another layer of protection for people with special needs.

The bill would give the parent or guardian of a child with special needs the option to place the child’s photograph and fingerprints on file with the Michigan State Police as well as a national fingerprint database.

The database would help officers quickly identify the child and reunite them with their families.

State Rep. Ben Frederick of Owosso joined Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Sgt. Doug Chapman and Sen. Rick Jones to speak before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in support of the proposed bill.

Frederick has two children with special needs and said every parent worries what would happen if their child were to go missing.

“My daughter, who is autistic, is non-verbal. She wouldn’t be able to communicate with law enforcement if something were to happen,” Frederick said. “With this change, a police officer could simply scan her fingerprint and pull up all of the important information they would need to help her.”

The program would be voluntary and photographs and fingerprints could be removed from the system at the request of the parent.

There would also be a fee to adding the child to the database which would be covered by the parent or guardian. 

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