Press Office: John M. Caher
For immediate release: May 15, 2008
DCJS OFFICIAL WINS AWARD
Frank St. Louis honored for work on behalf of missing and exploited children
ALBANY – Frank St. Louis, Chief of Wanted and Missing Services with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, is being honored by the Masons for his “untiring and devoted work in the field of missing and exploited children.”
St. Louis will receive the award this month from the grand master of the Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York.
The Masons are committed to assisting local law enforcement agencies in the safe and timely recovery of lost and missing children, according to Clarence J. Eckhoff, chairman of the New York State Masonic ID Program. Eckhoff said the Masonic-funded program provides a mini CD containing a photograph, fingerprints and physical characteristics of the child to the parent or guardian. To date more than 325,000 children have participated, he said.
DCJS has a separate program, Operation SAFE CHILD, managed by St. Louis.
Through Operation SAFE CHILD, DCJS provides parents or legal guardians with a free card that contains their child’s vital information, including date of birth, gender, height, weight and eye color, along with a photograph and fingerprints of both index fingers. If the parent or guardian wishes, that information is stored in a secure database so that it can be disseminated instantly if a child is abducted or lost.
DCJS now partners with 55 law enforcement agencies in the state to offer Operation SAFE CHILD. The initiative began in 2005 by DCJS and its Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse in partnership with the New York State Police, New York City Police Department, New York State Sheriffs’ Association and the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.
If the parent or guardian wishes, their son or daughter’s information will be stored in a secure database so that it can be disseminated instantly if the child is abducted or lost.
“Time is the greatest enemy if a child goes missing,” said Dan Foro, Deputy Commissioner at DCJS. “Having up-to-date photographs and detailed information about a child can greatly assist law enforcement officials as they respond to a child’s disappearance.”
At DCJS, St. Louis is responsible for management of the Wanted and Missing Services Bureau, which includes the Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse, AMBER alert, Operation SAFE CHILD and New York State’s Most Wanted program. He also serves as the agency’s liaison to the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, New York State Sheriffs’ Association and the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force on the NYS Most Wanted initiative.
St. Louis, a former Albany police officer, has previously received the Governor’s Management and Productivity Award and the Commissioner’s Award for Leadership and Innovation. He lives in Ballston Lake, Saratoga County.
DCJS recently reported an increase in 2007 of the number of children who were abducted by family members and those reported as lost. The annual report of the Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse noted that a total of 21,100 children were reported missing last year, compared to 21,613 in 2006. The vast majority of reports – a total of 19,504 – involved runaways, lost children and abductions by family members or acquaintances.