Martijn van Mensvoort -  Hand Research

MAY 15, 2008

Fingerprinting Clinic for Children
Fingerprinting clinic gives parents chance to warn kids about strangers

Author: Josh O'Kane

Hand News from: Saint John, Canada

As part of National Police Week, the Saint John Police Force, along with the Neighbourhood Police Council, put on a fingerprinting clinic for children at the McAllister Drive McDonald's Thursday night.

Const. Andrew MacBean, the east side community police officer, helped run the clinic with Frank DeGrace and Ron Dykeman of the Neighbourhood Police Council.

MacBean said the point of the clinic is to get parents to keep track of their children and prepare the parents to talk with the children about strangers.

A child identification booklet was provided at the clinic with space for descriptive information and a photo of the child, and - the most important thing for the event - pages where children could put their inked fingerprints. The information would be useful in the event a child goes missing.

PHOTO: Frank DeGrace of the Neighbourhood Police Council helps Liam Starr, 5, get his fingerprints recorded as his big sister Emma, 8, watches. The prints are part of a booklet that is given to parents free of charge to help in the location of a child who becomes lost or is abducted.
Fingerprinting kids

MacBean and the Neighbourhood Police Council members assisted the parents in filling out the books, and the children with taking their fingerprints. They also had plenty of cleaning wipes available so the children wouldn't run around the restaurant with hands covered in ink.

"Awareness is the biggest part of that booklet," MacBean said. "It's got their name, photograph, height, weight, hair colour. Police help them put their fingerprints in. It's got some preventative tips that parents can read over and discuss with their children. That's the biggest part of it."

Twenty-six children showed up to get their fingerprints taken.
But the Neighbourhood Police Council will be on hand on Saturday for another fingerprint clinic, at the weekend Family Fun Day at the Lord Beaverbrook Rink. The Fun Day runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

DeGrace, a retired police officer now on the Neighbourhood Police Council, had a goal for Thursday evening's McDonald's event.

"We're just waiting for the Hamburglar to come in," he said.



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IRAN: We need your Fingerprints
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