WESTMINSTER -- About 100 families have registered their children with a new company here that provides an identification system for missing children.
For $15 a year, a child gets a photo ID card and an ID bracelet, necklace, key ring or dog tag, said Charles H. Garrison III, co-owner of Child Watch America Inc.
A description of the child also is kept on a computer data base, to which police and other emergency personnel have access through a toll-free number, he said.
Mr. Garrison of Woodbine and his fiancee, Janis E. Duffy of Pleasant Valley, opened the business in May in the Longwell building at 77 E. Main St.
The business was incorporated in the state in March, records show.
Maryland State Police 1st Sgt. Steve Reynolds of the Westminster barracks said the agency does not sanction private identification services.
Police can't be sure records are kept properly and fear information on the children could be obtained by unauthorized persons, he said.
Mr. Garrison, a 51-year-old former contractor and private investigator, said, "We are sincere in what we're doing. We're based in Westminster, and we're going to stay here."
Kelley L. Gundersdorff, director of the Kiddie Academy day-care center in Finksburg, said she learned of Child Watch America after its owners distributed applications at Cranberry Mall.
Mr. Garrison came to her center to explain the program, and Ms. Gundersdorff distributed applications to about 50 parents. A dozen decided to enroll their children, she said.
Ms. Gundersdorff said she was impressed with the program.
Mr. Garrison said children enrolled in the ID system range from 4 months to 13 years old.
"The system has never been tested yet," he said.
He recommends children have new photo ID cards every year so the pictures are current.