The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ident-Adult card program. To commemorate this milestone, an event was held at the Middletown Senior Center where Sheriff Shaun Golden met with seniors and presented a plaque, in honor of the anniversary, to the center.

The purpose of the “Ident Adult” photo ID card contains pertinent information such as the name, address, medical conditions, emergency contact numbers and doctor phone numbers should the person carrying the card become ill, incapacitated and need assistance. The wallet plastic photo ID’S can be used as a secondary form of identification as well as for emergency purposes. “This Ident-Adult card can speak for the cardholder and help save a senior’s life with the emergency contact information provided,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden.

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office emergency identification card program was implemented in April of 1986 and has been providing lifesaving information for Monmouth County seniors ever since. It is estimated that well over 150,000 Ident-Adult cards have been issued in the last 25 years.

Additional programs were developed from the Ident-Adult card concept. In 1988, a bus carrying disabled individuals was involved in an accident. The passengers lacked emergency ID.

The Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Monmouth County Office on Aging, and, what was then, the Monmouth County Office for the Handicapped, adapted the Ident-Adult card by making it blue in color and affixing the disabled person logo – thus creating the Special Person ID Card for individuals who are disabled.

In 1991, one of the senior communities in Monmouth County had several emergency first aid calls to senior’s residences at which the senior was unconscious and could not provide information. The concept of the Ident-Adult card was again modified to create the Refrigerator Card, a brightly colored orange card that is taped to the refrigerator so that it can be easily found by first responders coming into the house to render assistance. In addition to the information that is on the Ident-Adult card, the Refrigerator Card also provides space to list all medications which the participant is currently taking.

In 2007, a young man with Asperger’s Disease, a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over for a motor vehicle violation, was questioned by police. Because of the manner in which the individual responded to police, the individual was detained. What the police didn’t know was that the individual was displaying the symptoms of Asperger’s Disease. As a result, the concept of the Ident-Adult Card was modified, with the assistance of the Monmouth County Department of Human Services, to create the Medical Emergency Card, a photo ID issued by the Sheriff’s Office that has the same essential emergency and contact information as the Ident-Adult card, but also has the illness with which the cardholder is afflicted. A medical certification by a physician is required to obtain the Medical Emergency card with the medical certification retained on file by the Sheriff’s Office.

The most popular card is the Youth ID card. This card is carried by the parents or guardian of a child. It contains a photograph of the child and date of birth. Should a child become lost, the parent will have the Youth ID card with the child’s photo readily available to help emergency responders quickly identify and locate the child. Youth ID programs are conducted at municipal and county fairs, nursery schools and elementary schools throughout the county.

Sheriff Golden has greatly expanded the availability of these cards through partnerships with other agencies and through active involvement and participation in community events and functions throughout Monmouth County. The Sheriff’s Office currently issues approximately 6,000 plus ID cards a year.

“The Ident-Adult card, and its many variations and applications, has served the people of Monmouth County in providing vital, life-saving information in time of need,” said Sheriff Golden. During the celebration in Middletown a commemorative Ident Adult card was presented to Senior Center Director Patrice Nugent along with the commemorative plaque. In conclusion, Sheriff Golden reminded the attendees of the importance of carrying the specific Sheriff’s Office ID card that is designed to fit their specific need. “Handle your Ident-Adult card like an American Express Card – don’t leave home without it.”

For information about the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office ID programs, contact Undersheriff Ted Freeman at 732-577-5748.