By JIM MISUNAS
LARNED — Pawnee County Deputy Eli Makings hopes parents and guardians never have to use the child identification-fingerprinting information.
But if they do, the information will be helpful.
The Pawnee County sheriff’s department conducted a free child identification/fingerprinting program Tuesday during the USDA kids eat for free lunch at the United Methodist Church in Larned.
Approximately 60 children had their fingerprints taken and a child identification folder was given to their parents for their personal records. Parents and guardians fill out personal information about their children and keep the fingerprinting just in case it’s ever needed. Fingerprints and DNA never change for a person.
“It’s a good way for parents to get ID for their children. If the need ever arises, fingerprinting can be used to eliminate a person from a particular place, or help identify a person in a worse-case scenario,” Makings said. “We received a lot of positive feedback for doing this.”
Contact the Pawnee County sheriff’s department, 620-285-2211 for further information.
Makings said the fingerprinting program gave Sheriff Scott King, Undersheriff Derek Slack, Makings and Alex Jacobs, a jailer, the opportunity to interact with youngsters in the community.
“This gives us a positive contact for law enforcement,” Makings said. “We want youngsters to know that we are there to help them out in a situation if they need it.
Makings encouraged youngsters to clearly tell him their name, a request he would make if he found a youngster who appeared to be lost.
“We are fortunate that the community sees the positive value of law enforcement. We’re pretty lucky.”
Larned deputies, along with firefighters and EMS personnel have assisted with the USDA lunch program that runs Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“It’s proven to be a positive program for everyone involved,” Makings said.