A free tool from the FBI that uses cell phones to store identifying information can be an invaluable aid to parents of missing children, according to police Chief Tom Devin.
Chief Devin is so impressed with the nationwide Child ID app, in which parents can download pertinent data and photographs, that he is touting it for his residents' use.
"This is a good idea," he said. "Most people have cell phones, and you can put as many kids on there as you want," he said, noting that many of his officers have started to use the program for their own families.
When a child goes missing is the worst time for parents to recall vital statistics -- such as height and weight and other identifying information -- because they are upset, the chief noted. However, assembling data about their kids and their photographs is easy and fun to do when people are relaxed. Once the profiles and photos are downloaded, they are ready to be dispatched as needed to police agencies and news media.
Also, the new app has safety tips from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to keep children safe as well as instructions on what must be done in the critical hours after a child goes missing. Ten specific emergency phone numbers, including one for the Amber Alert program, are included.
The FBI's new Child ID app can be downloaded free from the App Store on iTunes.
Chief Devin said it is recommended that a child's information be updated annually.
Katie Marseilles presented a petition to council Sept. 12 over concerns about a vacant house with overgrown weeds and a hanging utility wire that she said is unsafe for the school bus stop on McCabe Avenue at School Street.
Council President John Pessy said the borough can't go on private property.
Solicitor Richard Start said the borough would send workers to clear the sidewalks and that a bill would be sent to the property owners.
Mrs. Marseilles said she also has presented the petition with 47 signatures to the Cornell bus coordinator.
Council advised her to take her petition to the school board.
• The Coraopolis library board of directors is looking for members. Applicants can contact manager Ray McCutcheon, 412-264-3002.neigh_west