Safe Haven Baby Box to be unveiled in Gary

By The Associated Press

GARY — The first baby box in Gary meant to allow people to anonymously leave newborns at firehouses is expected to be unveiled this week, officials said.

The city's first Safe Haven Baby Box was installed at the Gary Fire Department's Station 5 where a ceremony will take place, according to The (Northwest Indiana) Times.

The baby boxes are named after the Indiana Safe Haven Law, that was enacted 20 years ago and enables a person to give up an infant no more than 45 days old anonymously and without fear of arrest or prosecution. Indiana is one of five states that have a Safe Haven law.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder Monica Kelsey, who was herself abandoned as an infant, said the effort to equip firehouses with the boxes aims to eliminate situations where babies are placed in danger by women or parents seeking to abandon their infants.

Each box is climate-controlled with an automatic lock mechanism. When the box is opened, a silent alarm is triggered, alerting 911 dispatch and the fire department of a drop-off. Each costs about $15,000 to install.

This box in Gary will be the 48th in Indiana, made possible by several donors, businesses, Alert Alarm, 1-800 Board Up and Crown Point Fire Chief David Crane.

“I am very thankful for the anonymous donation to cover the costs of the Safe Haven Baby Box program,” said Gary Fire Chief Sean O’Donnell. “Gary Fire Department is happy to have this resource available to the community and for those who may need it.”

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