Glen Cove Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck said a newly-awarded contract for the...

Glen Cove Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck said a newly-awarded contract for the digitization of birth records of city natives will add a layer of protection in case of a "cataclysmic event" that destroys some or all of the records. Credit: Marcus Santos

Glen Cove is scanning decades of birth certificates in an effort to safeguard its records under a contract its City Council approved last month.

Glen Cove Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck said in an email this week that the city has protocols to protect physical copies of vital records. But she said digitizing them adds a layer of protection in case of a “cataclysmic event” that destroys some or all of the records.

“With the technology of today, we can safeguard against such acts, and maintain services, even during the direst events,” Panzenbeck added in her email. “Our primary goal is to protect the integrity of the records. Additional benefits would include easier and immediate access for staff which will provide a quicker turnaround time for the public.”

The City Council approved hiring New York State Industries for the Disabled, an Albany-based nonprofit in partnership with Garden City-based Seery Systems Group Inc. for about $44,000 to scan, index and make digital and microfilm copies of the birth certificates of city natives born since 1940, according to town records.

The scanning will take four to five years to complete and going forward the city will make digital copies of vital records, according to the mayor.

The city has approximately 175,000 records birth, marriage and death certificates dating back to 1918, a year after Glen Cove separated from the Town of Oyster Bay to become an incorporated city, according to city officials.

Birth certificates also can be obtained through the New York State Department of Health.

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