Dec 10, 2013

Worcester County Sheriff Offers Iris Scan for Kids

iris scan

By: Matt Tota/ Daily News Staff

Milford Daily News


Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis, center, looks on as a child gets  his eyes scanned as part of the new Child Project now offered by the  Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.


The Worcester County Sheriff’s Department is now using iris scanning  technology in conjunction with a national database that law enforcement  officials use to quickly locate and identify lost or missing children.

Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis this weekend announced that his office has brought the Children’s Identification and Location Database (CHILD) Project to Worcester County.

The CHILD Project, created by both the Nation’s Missing Children Organization and National Center for Missing Adults, allows law enforcement officials throughout the country to locate and identify children using a biometric recognition system.

Iris scanning captures and digitally encodes an image of an iris, located in the eye. According to Evangelidis, the iris is 10 times more identifiable than a fingerprint. And though a person’s appearance will change with age, he said, the iris remains the same.

“Fingerprinting was a great system for many, many years,” Evangelidis said. “But now we have the next generation of technology in biometrics.”

Enrollment is now available through the Worcester County Sheriff’s office. Evangelidis plans to bring his iris scan program to schools, public events, law enforcement events and community centers. Parent consent is required. And the department’s community outreach officials conduct the scanning.

The iris scanner takes a simple digital photograph of a child’s irises. That image is then analyzed; and code is created and compared to others in the database. If a match isn’t found, the iris data is linked with the demographic information and stored at the national registry until the child turns 18.

More than 1,300 sheriff offices nationwide participate in the CHILD Project, Evangelidis said. Every day in the United States, he said, more than 2,000 children are reported missing, while a child is reported as abducted every 40 seconds.

“As sheriff,” he said, “I want to make this technology available to the families of Worcester County. I can not think of anything more important than protecting and keeping our children safe.”

The department purchased an iris scanner after Evangelidis took office in January 2011 and has offered the technology for seniors, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia who may wander off, through its Triad Program.

Dec 9, 2013

Sheriff’s ‘Child Project’ Catches Eyes at Holden Winter Festival

By: Sandy Meindersma CORRESPONDENT


HOLDEN — As part of the first Holden Winter Festival Saturday, Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis rolled out The Child Project to Worcester County.

Operated by the Nation’s Missing Children Organization and Center for Missing Adults in Phoenix, The Child Project uses digital photography to scan a child’s iris, compares it to the data already stored in a national database and then stores it in the database with the child’s information.

There are more than 1,300 sheriff’s offices who are using The Child Project, which Sheriff Evangelidis likened to child fingerprinting programs that became popular in the area after Molly Bish disappeared from Comins Pond in Warren.

“It’s 10 times more accurate than a fingerprint,” Sheriff Evangelidis said. “And unlike fingerprints, the iris doesn’t change over time.”

While fingerprinting requires some effort to get an accurate print, the iris scan is done in a few seconds without the mess.

Sheriff Evangelidis said he purchased the iris scanner soon after his election as sheriff in 2010. He initially used the iris scanner with the elderly, in order to protect those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia who may wander off.

Sheriff Evangelidis said that he chose the Holden Winter Festival to launch The Child Project because he wanted to be sure that he selected a place where parents could give their consent to the scan.

“As a father of two children, I will always remember registering my children with fingerprint identification kits,” he said. Today, with new advances in technology, there is now a more accurate way to identify a child. With iris scan technology we now have positive identification in the blink of an eye that is ten times more identifiable than a fingerprint.”

Approximately 120 children had their irises scanned at the Winter Festival.

Sheriff Evangelidis said that he plans to make the iris scanner available at public and special events, as well as through social service agencies and community centers.

“I cannot think of anything more important than protecting and keeping our children safe,” he said

Dec 4, 2013

Iris Scanner Debuts at Festival



Worcester County Sheriff

Lewis Evangelidis, back,

watches as a young person has his

eyes scanned through the Child Project.



HOLDEN — The eyes have it. And if the unthinkable happens and children go missing, the eyes could ensure they make it home safely.


The Child Project will make its Worcester County debut at Saturday’s Winter Festival at the Congregational Church. Children who participate in the program have their eyes photographed. The identifying characteristics in their irises are stored in a database maintained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


Although a child’s physical appearance will change through the years, the iris remains the same, said Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis, who brought the program to Worcester County.


“A child’s eyes are a permanent and unique way to identify them,’’ Evangelidis said in a prepared statement. “With this technology, a positive identification can be made within seconds.’’


This method of identification is 10 times more identifiable than a fingerprint.


Evangelidis, who lives in Holden, chose the winter festival to introduce the project. “This is a great opportunity to roll it out in a community I am familiar with,’’ he said.


Evangelidis will bring the iris scanner to the festival.


With a parent’s permission, a high-speed digital photo is taken of the child’s eyes. Unlike fingerprinting, nothing needs to be touched to complete the process.


The information is then stored in a registry maintained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Law enforcement and other authorized users have access to the information, which can positively identify a child in seconds.


“I cannot think of anything more important than protecting and keeping our children safe,’’ he said.


Nov 29, 2013

Sheriff Brings Public Safety Programs to Uxbridge Seniors

Uxbridge Senior Center 1


Lew Evangelidis pictured with seniors from the

Uxbridge Senior Center during a senior safety lunch and learn.



(Blackstone Valley Tribune)

UXBRIDGE — Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis recently had the pleasure to host a Senior Public Safety Lunch & Learn at the Uxbridge Senior Center on Nov. 1.

The sheriff hosted the forum as part of the Sheriff ’s Senior Citizen Safety Initiative for Worcester County. The Worcester County Sheriff ’s Office TRIAD Program works closely with local law enforcement, elder services and the council on aging and serves communities throughout the region by providing seniors with continuous education on elder safety tips and public safety.


Uxbridge Senior Center 2

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis

pictured with Uxbridge Senior Center

Executive Director Marsha Petrillo in front

of the Uxbridge Senior Center during the Sheriff’s

recent visit to meet with Uxbridge seniors to

discuss the senior safety programs offered by the Sheriff’s Office.


During his visit, the sheriff highlighted the many services offered to seniors through the Worcester County Sheriff ’s Office such as special illuminated custom house numbers, 911 emergency cell phones, first responder file of life cards, iris recognition technology and the LoJack SafetyNet Program utilized in the event a senior with a condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia were to wander off or go missing.

“It’s always a pleasure to spend time at the Uxbridge Senior Center, today’s lunch and learn was a wonderful opportunity to share important public safety information with our senior community. Our TRIAD Program as well as the many other services offered by the Sheriff ’s Office work to effectively identify and address the public safety needs and concerns of our senior population, as sheriff I am committed to making our seniors feel safe and secure in their communities,” said Evangelidis.


Uxbridge Senior Center 3

Worcester County Sheriff pictured with

Uxbridge residents Gail Boutiette and her mom

Shirly Sehultzberg who was celebrating her

85th Birthday that day during the Sheriff’s senior

safety lunch & learn recently held at the Uxbridge Senior Center.



“We can not thank Sheriff Evangelidis enough for coming to our senior center to discuss the many safety programs offered to our seniors by the Sheriff ’s Department. We are very fortunate to have a sheriff who is so committed to the public safety of our seniors and our community,” said Uxbridge Senior Center Executive Director Marsha Petrillo.

The Sheriff ’s senior safety lunch and learn will also be shown on Uxbridge Community Television (UCTV).

Uxbridge Senior Center 6


Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis pictured  with Uxbridge Senior  Center Director Marsha  Petrillo during the Sheriff’s recent visit to the  Uxbridge Senior Center where the Sheriff hosted a  senior safety lunch &  learn.


Uxbridge Senior Center 7

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis demonstrates
the house-numbering program available to
seniors through the Sheriff’s Office at a recent
senior safety lunch and learn recently hosted by
the sheriff at the Uxbridge Senior Center.