Fingerprints helping to start a conversation about safety

Parents getting a piece of information to help police if their kid goes missing

Moline, Illinois - The disappearance of a child is something no parent wants to consider, but an event in Moline Saturday is getting those guardians thinking so they have a plan in case of the worst.

Rose Hernandez said,"I think it's a relief, it's a relief I can have something documented."

While Rose Hernandez granddaughter Nadia might see it as a chance to smile for the camera and meet some furring friends...

Nadia said, "I like to pet the dogs." Rose followed by stating, "You like to pet the dogs."

What grandmother and granddaughter will be leaving with is more than just memories of a fun day.

Hernandez said, "Keep seeing it on the news, all these other missing things. I just want to be able to have something to hand to the police."

In the showroom of Zimmerman Honda, it's not cars drawing in families, but another safety feature that no parent ever wants to use. 

Families are getting in line so their little ones can get their fingerprints and pictures taken in case they go missing.

Child Safety Specialist Tina Buxton said, "Getting the print out with their picture on it. For them [kids] it's kind of a fun souvenir, but for the parents, it is something that is very valuable."

Tina Buxton with Waterloo, Iowa based Safer Families Project provides the digital fingerprinting service across the country, as a way to not just scan in the ridges but start a conversation.

Buxton said, "You think about the worst case scenario and hope it never happens, but having a plan in place is the absolute most important thing you can do."

Buxton said when a kid goes missing, often the most time-consuming process of starting these investigations is gathering a photo and snapshot of these ten digits. 

So they're just working to take a weight off parents' shoulders.

Mother Molly Nelson said, "It's just nice to know that I can go, this is my kid. This is exactly who he is, and they can get him back to the right person, so it's just a nice safety precaution for all of us."

By proving a peace of mind one finger at a time. 

Safer Families doesn't collect the fingerprint information as part of a database, deleting the scans and photos after providing the document to parents.

Buxton said people can reach out to their police departments or schools to see if they have ink-based fingerprinting kits, so parents have this information on file. 

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