Newspaper

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

iris

 

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.

Nov 29, 2013

Sheriff’s Food Drive Brings in 25 Tons

WORCESTER — More than 50,000 pounds of food were donated in the Worcester County sheriff’s eighth annual food drive, and those items along with Thanksgiving turkeys will be distributed by Friendly House of Worcester to more than 2,000 local families in need.

Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis, Worcester Sharks Director of Community Relations and Business Development Michael Myers and Friendly House Executive Director Gordon Hargrove announced the amount of donated goods.

“It’s always a pleasure to partner with the Worcester Sharks, WPI fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha and the Friendly House in the sheriff’s annual food drive. With the holiday season upon us, it is extremely important to do all we can to help those who may be less fortunate,” the sheriff said.

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