by MITCH HARVATIN
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department (KCSD), Rockford Police/Ambulance, Cannon Township Fire Department and Greater Grand Rapids Safe Kids along with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital participated in the Free Child ID program held at Rockford Christian School, 6060 Belding Rd., on Thursday, July 30, sponsored by the Rockford Masonic Lodge #246.
One hundred twenty children received a free dental impression and a CD containing a photo, video, sound-bite and digital fingerprints.
Deputy Mandy Trevino from the Kent County Police Department said, “If something ever would have happened to the child, all that parent would have to do is give the officer that disc and we’d be able to download it right into our vehicles and get that information out.”
“It makes me feel safer,” said Sherry Morrison, whose son and niece attended the event.
Joseph Morrison, 11, thought that the teeth impression bite didn’t taste good.
Other activities were included for that day, including children who got their heads sized for bike helmets. Those whose helmets didn’t fit received a new helmet courtesy of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
After fingerprints were scanned and teeth impressions made, the kids could go visit the police officers on their horses, boats, quad runners and the Mobile Crisis Command Unit that is owned by the KCSD, but used by other counties as well. “Just so the community knows what tools we have,” said Trevino.
According to the Klaas Kids Foundation website, “85 percent to 90 percent of the 876,213 persons reported missing to America’s law enforcement agencies in 2000 were juveniles [persons under 18 years of age].”