Fingerprinting to protect the kids | NevadaAppeal.com

Fingerprinting to protect the kids

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

Johnathan Lessard, 4, left, watches as his mother, Denise Lessard, puts ink on his fingers while he has his finger prints recorded at Lowes Saturday during a Safety Day for Kids.Hundreds of parents had their childrens' finger prints recorded to help track them in the event of an abduction. Photo by Brian Corley

A crusade is on to make sure Carson City’s children are safe and to that end, Lowe’s Home Improvement offered free fingerprinting in their parking lot Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Three-year-old Robert Gardner Jr. stood patiently for the procedure while his father, Robert Gardner Sr., held the boy’s balloon.

“There’s something about a child abduction or some type of abuse on the news every other day. It’s sickening,” Gardner Sr. said. “We have 22 kids in 12 houses in our neighborhood. The kids are outside playing all the time and all the parents are paranoid. Hopefully, the Sheriff’s Office will start a program. Until then, we’ll have these records on file. If something happens, it’ll at least give them a head start.”

Sparks resident Tamara Smith had her hands full, with 3-year-old Elijah in a stroller and 18-month-old Megan in her arms.

“I don’t know how much good this will do. I have mixed feelings,” she said. “I guess they could identify the child better if he or she died. I feel I can never do too much to keep them safe. This won’t hurt anything. As a mom, I try to do everything I can.”

Saturday’s special fingerprinting kits included a special place for a photo, personal information, a spot for a hair sample, to be used for DNA analysis, dental records and a special chart for any identifying marks or scars.

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There is no community registration program, or place where these records could be stored in Carson City and the people at Lowe’s want to change that.

“We don’t have a program at the Sheriff’s Department that keeps the fingerprints of children on file and they don’t have kits or information for young families,” said Jo Misuraca, chairman of Lowe’s Home Safety Council. “We will not stop until the city council takes the kids’ ID kits seriously and provides funds to make this happen.”

Carson City Sheriff’s candidate Wayne Fazzino, who was helping with the event, said there’s a chance the project could be supervised by the Carson City School District.

He warned, that fingerprints from very young children may not be totally accurate because their fingers are so soft. It’s a good idea to repeat the process when the child is older, at around 6 years.

This event was coupled with Warren Engine Co.’s car seat inspection. The kids also enjoyed sitting behind the wheel of a fire engine, compliments of the Carson City Fire Department.