JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Over 500 Region 8 kids were ID'd and fingerprinted for the upcoming school year on Friday. Parents across Region 8 came to the Mall at Turtle Creek to take advantage of Day One of Operation Kidsafe.
"We heard that it was going on tonight and tomorrow at the mall so we decided to come on out and get it done again," Charles Nelson, a parent of three told Region 8 News. Nelson knows full well how quickly something can happen to your child.
"That's why we're here, to try to get all that information so that if something were to happen, hopefully never, ever, if something were to happen, then it's an easy reference sheet to have it all right there together," Nelson said.
Nelson's children have taken part in events like this before, and while an updated photo of your child is beneficial for law enforcement if something should happen, fingerprints are very important too.
"That's the good thing about fingerprints, they never change between birth and death they just get bigger and larger," Wayne Petro of Operation Kidsafe said.
This is the third year in a row Operation Kidsafe has taken place in Jonesboro. Petro said he travels nationwide for the event. He wants parents to know just 45 seconds will save you time in the long run.
"It'll probably take you longer to get out of your car than it would to get the kids photographed and fingerprinted," Petro said. All the more reason to come to the mall and get your child's safety ID kit. Petro said parents get into panic mode when something happens to their children, which is why having the safety ID kit is so valuable.
"They couldn't tell you what color their children's hair is, let alone a boy or a girl half the time because they're in a panic mode.This, all they have to do is just hand it to the authorities they will scan it into their systems and it will help generate an Amber Alert and an FBI file," Petro said.
Nelson encourages all parents to take their children to Operation Kidsafe as a proactive measure for your children's safety.
"Doing something like this is very important, I mean, if you care about your kids, and all that stuff and if something were to happen, this helps you be prepared for it," Nelson said.
Operation Kidsafe continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children up to 18 years of age are welcome to come out and get their free safety ID kit. Petro even fingerprinted a 10-day-old baby Friday, his youngest client ever.