Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 22 the following chapter:- `tuc CHAPTER 22A. CENTRAL REGISTER FOR MISSING CHILDREN.
Section 1. As used in sections two to eight, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
"Central register", identifying data file of missing children.
"Commissioner", the commissioner of public safety.
"Department", the department of public safety.
"Law enforcement authority", any police department in the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions.
"Missing child or children", any person under the age of eighteen years missing from his normal and ordinary place of residence and whose whereabouts cannot be determined by the person responsible for such child's care.
Section 2. The commissioner, through electronic data processing and related procedures, shall establish a statewide central register containing all available identifying data of any missing child, including, but not limited to, fingerprints and blood types. The department may use existing data processing and data communication systems of the criminal justice information system.
Section 3. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations which shall (1) insure the accuracy of the data contained in the central register; (2) prescribe the manner in which reports to the central register shall be made; (3) prescribe the manner which inquiries to the central register shall be made and processed; (4) prescribe the manner and extent of dissemination of the data contained in the central register to law enforcement personnel, other interested parties and the public; and (5) insure the prompt removal of all obsolete data from the central register.
The department shall not charge a fee for providing information in response to inquiries made pursuant to this section.
Section 4. Whenever a parent, guardian, or governmental unit responsible for a child, reports to any police officer or law enforcement official that a child is missing, such police officer or official shall immediately cause to be entered into the central register relevant information relative to said missing child. Such police officer or law enforcement official shall also immediately undertake to locate such missing child.
Police officers, law enforcement officials and others so designated by the commissioner solely for the purpose of locating a missing child shall have access to the fingerprints and other data and information concerning the missing child on file with the central register.
Section 5. Every county medical examiner shall furnish the department promptly with copies of fingerprints on standardized eight inch fingerprint cards, personal descriptions and other identifying data, including date and place of death, of all deceased persons whose deaths are in a classification requiring inquiry by the medical examiner where the deceased is not identified or the medical examiner is not satisfied with the decedent's identification. In any case where it is not physically possible to furnish prints of the ten fingers of the deceased, prints or partial prints of any fingers with other identifying data shall be forwarded by the county medical examiner to the department.
In addition to the foregoing provisions of this section, the county medical examiner shall cause a dentist to carry out a dental examination of the deceased. The medical examiner shall forward the dental records to the department on a form supplied by the department for such purpose.
The department shall compare the fingerprints received from the county medical examiners to fingerprints on file with the department for purposes of attempting to determine the identity of the deceased. Other descriptive data supplied with the fingerprints shall also be compared to records maintained by the department concerning missing persons. The department shall submit the results of the comparisons to the appropriate medical examiner and if a tentative or positive identification is made, to the law enforcement authority which submitted the report of the missing person.
Section 6. When any person makes a report of a missing child to a law enforcement authority, the authority shall request a member of the family or next of kin of the missing child to authorize the release to the department of the medical and dental records of the person reported missing.
The department shall compare the dental records received from the medical examiner to dental records of missing children on file with the department. The department shall submit the results of the comparison to the medical examiner and if a tentative or positive identification is made, to the law enforcement authority which submitted the report of the missing child.
Section 7. The first paragraph of section 5A of chapter 210 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the second sentence the following sentence:- In any petition for adoption the department shall submit to the court verification that the adoptee is not registered with the federal register for missing children and the central register.
Section 8. Notwithstanding the provisions of any special or general law to the contrary, the department of social services, the department of youth services, the department of public health, and the department of mental health shall report a missing child under its custody to the central register and shall provide said central register with available identifying data relating to said missing child.