Local grandma stresses importance of Operation KidSafe

Posted by Jessi Turnure

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Operation KidSafe's mission is to prepare parents with on-hand information about their children in case anything would happen to them.

The event provides free finger printing to all participants.

This is the event's fourth year in Region 8 and one local grandma said it should not be the last.

"It is a must. You have to bring your child out here, grandchild, nieces, nephews, neighbors' children if you can bring them for them, perfect. You know, you have an excellent record. We just want his [her grandson] protection," Pocahontas resident Judy Gaither said.

Gaither, her husband, and her grandson Clayton drove to the mall from Pocahontas to make sure of that.

"My grandparents want to make sure, just in case I ever got lost, to have notifications, they could give it to the police," 11-year-old Clayton Dougherty said.

Each participant receives an up-to-date picture and fingerprints. Dougherty said it was easy.

"Take a picture first, really simply, left hand first, right hand next. They print it, they give it to you and that's it," Dougherty said.

"We're always looking for protection and everything you see in the news lately is horrifying," Gaither said.

And if you think you do not have time, Dougherty said it was an "in and out" process.

"The line was a bit long, but it takes ten to 15 minutes maybe," Dougherty said.

"It's very fast. His mom doesn't have to worry now about him having a recent picture and at least an update of him," Gaither said.

Dougherty also offered some tips for kids.

"Be safe. Make sure you walk with a buddy or something. Don't just walk alone," Dougherty said.

Dougherty said he would recommend Operation KidSafe to his friends.

"Instead of not doing it, I think they should do it everywhere," Dougherty said.

"This kind of stuff helps," Gaither said.

Anyone can still attend Operation KidSafe until 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Mall at Turtle Creek.

Participants do not need to register in advance and will be served on a first come, first serve basis.

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