Public Safety Agencies Team to Make Laramie a ‘Baby Safe Haven’
Representatives from the Laramie Police Department, Albany County Sheriff's Office, Laramie Fire Department, University of Wyoming Police Department, and the Wyoming Department of Family Services held a joint press conference today (Wednesday) to announce the formalization of Laramie as a "Baby Safe Haven".
Parents (parent designees) of a child 14 days or younger may be left at a fire station, police department, hospital, or sheriff's office. Though the Wyoming Legislature passed the Newborn Child Act back in 2004, there has not been a formalized process until now.
Laramie Police Chief Dale Stalder said of child relinquishment, "It's a rarity, but if it does occur, we wanted to have a formalized process." Stalder noted that there have only been two cases of child relinquishment in his career, both took place in the mid-80s. Stalder also noted that as far as he knew, Laramie is the only Wyoming community with an official relinquishment process.
If a child has been dropped off at the University of Wyoming Police Department, Albany County Sheriff's Office, or Laramie Police Department, the Fire Department sends an ambulance to take the child to Ivinson Memorial for a health screening, after which the child is put into the custody of the Department of Family Services while the agency seeks to find a new home for the child.
Signs have been put up designating the University of Wyoming Police Department, Albany County Sheriff's Office, Laramie Fire Department, Ivinson Memorial Hospital, and the Laramie Police Department as Baby Safe Havens. Parents or designees who drop off a child may fill out a questionnaire that can be completed anonymously at the location or sent through the mail at a later day. According to a press release the questionnaire is meant "solely to gain information about the baby's health and is not intended to identify the mother or father of the baby."
For more information about this process, please contact any of the public safety agencies or Ivinson Memorial Hospital.