Local optometric physician and sheriff partner to bring child identification program to Bryan County families

DURANT, OK - The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (OAOP) recently joined with The Children’s Identification and Location Database (CHILD) Project and is partnering with the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association to begin offering Iris Scanning state-wide.

Dr. Jason Rhymes, local optometric physician and OAOP member, in cooperation with Sheriff Bill Sturch and the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office will offer Free Iris Scanning Saturday, March 28th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at The Visual and Performing Arts Center. The free scanning is being offered for children who are pre-K through fourth grade.

“We are pleased to join The CHILD Project and work with Sheriff Sturch to bring this technology to Bryan County families,” said Dr. Rhymes. “This is a great program that allows optometric physicians to use our experience with eyes while working with the Sheriff’s Office to offer new technology to help find missing children in Oklahoma when needed. On Saturday, March 28th, we will be focusing on children who are in Pre-K through fourth grade because they are more likely to have difficulty sharing information with those who need it than older children. We have plans to do future events and scan other age groups.”

The CHILD Project is a secure nationwide network and registry that enables law enforcement and social service agencies to locate and positively identify missing children with iris biometric recognition technology. Iris recognition biometric technology positively determines the identity of an individual by capturing a high-resolution digital photograph of an individual’s iris. As children grow, their physical appearance changes, but the iris of their eye does not. The technology can tell the difference between twins or even an individual’s right and left eye. The technology is non-invasive, is not harmful to the eye and captures the image of the iris by simply looking into the camera.

Upon scanning the iris, a code is created and stored in a secure, web-based nationwide network and registry, hosted by the Nation’s Missing Children Organization that is only accessible to the national data bank and law enforcement and social service officials associated with the program. Should identification be needed, it can be accessed quickly and verified within seconds so that children can be returned to their parent.

“As the sheriff of Bryan County, I am pleased to be part of a program that has the safety and well-being of our children in mind,” explained Sheriff Sturch. “More than 2,000 children are reported missing everyday. Our hope is that Oklahoma children aren’t among those missing. However, should that be the case, we now have one more way to identify children accurately and reunite them with their families quickly.”

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