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Children Get Fingerprinted

Columbia Police are asking parents to keep important information about your children that can keep them safe.Police hosted a fingerprinting event Saturday at JoAnn Fabric store in Columbia as part of a safety campaign to help you identify your child in the event he or she goes missing. “We realized how important it is, because it can track the child, if something were to happen, and you don’t want it to happen but it does happen,” said a mother who took her 10-year-old to the event. Samantha Dodd said the process was easy and she didn’t mind it at all, “yeah, in case I get lost and they can use that to find me and give it to the police.”ABC 17 News checked the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s database and found 19 unsolved cases of children missing from Missouri for the past 10 years. Officer Latisha Stroer with the Columbia Police Department said as the years go by, it gets harder to identify the children because of their changing looks. That’s why she said finger prints are so important, “because that doesn’t change and it is specific to them,” said Ofc. Stroer. The Identification Kit includes not only an ink strip to be used for fingerprinting, as well as a place to attach the most recent photograph of your child, height and weight information that the officer said should be updated annually. There is also a spot for parents to place a lock of hair for DNA sampling should the child go missing. All of which Ofc. Stroer said was necessary to keep current. Samantha’s mother, Nolanda, said it was something easy that gives her a peace of mind.”It’s easy and it’s free. So why would you not do it to protect your child?” Dodd asked rhetorically as she updated Samantha’s ID kit from the previous year. Police recommend children three and older to get their fingerprints taken, any younger may need a repeat because the prints may still be developing, according to Ofc. Stroer.

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