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franklin county times

Parents have children's fingerprints taken

By Staff
INKY FINGERS Ragan Freeman, 3, of Enterprise has her fingerprints taken Saturday at Bonita Lakes Mall by officer Deborah Young of the Meridian Police Department. Photo by Steve Gillespie / The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 23, 2002
Ragan Freeman was skittish at first, probably because she has had her finger stuck for blood tests before, but she soon found being fingerprinted is nothing to fear.
Meridian police officers set up a booth Saturday at Bonita Lakes Mall to fingerprint children. Two hours later, Ragan and about 50 other children had been fingerprinted.
Lauderdale County Farm Bureau sponsored the effort, designed to give parents records of their children's prints to help law enforcement officers in the event the child is ever lost or abducted. The prints were made on a cards with spaces for other identifying information and a place on the back to attach a photograph.
Gillespie said she hopes to sponsor more fingerprinting sessions.
Ragan's mother, Rachael Smith, thought it was a good idea. She said the card will also be a keepsake in years to come. Her mother, Barbara Smith, was also at the mall and said she still has Rachael's fingerprint identification card at home from when she was a young child.
Meridian police officer Lee Wilson recommended that parents update the photographs on the identification cards about every three years.
He said parents who want to have their child's fingerprints taken can do so by going to the police station, or by making arrangements through the department's DARE office, 484-6839. Wilson also said a fingerprinting team can be made available to churches, schools, civic clubs or community organizations.

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