Fingerprint program

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 9, 1999

promotes child safety


Features Editor

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Published Sept. 9, 1999

Having a child fingerprinted gives parents a feeling of uneasy security.

A parent knows if those prints are ever needed, the situation will be serious. Even so, many parents are making sure their children are fingerprinted "God forbid anything should happen."

Jessica Bryan took advantage of an opportunity to have her daughter’s fingerprints taken at Wal-Mart last week. Wal-Mart and the Troy Police Department combined to make this service free to anyone who would take advantage of it.

Bryan didn’t hesitate.

"The number one fear of parents today is that their child will go missing," she said. "It’s something I worry about all the time. Anything can happen anywhere and God forbid that it does." Bryan said she realized that by having Hannah’s fingerprints taken, she will be better prepared to help law enforcement officials if such a situation arose.

"You don’t like to think about it but if anything should happen, you want to do every thing you can to help you get your child back," she said. "Having their fingerprints available can be very helpful."

Corporal Stark Laney of TPD agreed.

"Having prints helps us to identify a child who has been abducted or the victim of, say, a plane crash," he said. "We hope and pray none of these situations ever arise but in the event they do, the prints are a sure form of identification."

Laney said the TPD usually offers this service to the community twice a year.

"This is Child Safety Month and we were asked to take prints at Wal-Mart and we were glad to do it," he said. "We call it making finger pictures because that eases the fears of smaller children and we want as many children as we can to have their prints available if ever needed." Laney said the fingerprints or pictures are taken and given to the parents to keep at home.

"These prints are for missing child identification and not for criminal investigation," he said. "It’s a state law that we can’t keep the fingerprints of children on record, so if anyone is apprehensive about that, there is no reason to be. The prints are in the possession of the parents and no one else." Laney said he would encourage any parent to keep their child’s fingerprints on file.

"It’s just the smart thing to do."