Jonesboro police officers fight for kids safety

Jonesboro police officers fight for kids safety
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro police officers are working to make sure lost children are found as quickly as possible.

Officers with the JPD DARE program launched a new digital fingerprinting system on Wednesday.

Corporal Kevin Foust with the Jonesboro Police Department's DARE Program said they want to get every child on this system.

"Today we are launching our new digital fingerprint system," Foust said. "We're working with the Nettleton Camp Raider Program, and this is our first event to do this. We're working with Ms. Robinson and Camp Raider, and we're going to be digitally fingerprinting every child. So, every child will go home today with a fingerprint on paper, and they'll also be a disc that we'll send home with the parents."

Foust said that disc is important for all parents to have.

"The disc works with the Amber Alert system," Foust said. "So, if we ever have a child lost and a policeman comes out to take a report, the disc can be handed over. It goes into the 911 system and works with our Amber Alert system. So, we're getting away from the cards and the ink. This is a new system and we're very fortunate to be able to get these."

So, why is that disc and this system so special?

"When that disc is plugged in," Foust said. "That Amber Alert system, it goes out to the car computers.  These photos will come up. All this information will come up and when we're dealing with a lost kid and the Amber Alert system time is of the essence. So, that is the big thing a lot of people won't realize this is going to do for us. it's goes out to the car computers, it goes out to the officers that may be in their offices or whatever, 911 has it and it also goes to surrounding agencies. So, we'd turn this over to Jeff Presley in the 911 center and they would be able to plug that in and get us going. Get it to you guys at channel 8. The more we get it out there, the quicker we get it out there, the better chances we are of finding this child... children safe."

Nettleton Camp Raider Director Renee Robinson said she was thrilled when contacted by DARE officers about fingerprinting the children with their program.

"I was very excited to work with them on this new system," Robinson said. "This is of the utmost importance. Of course, we hope nothing ever happens. But if it does, this is going to be time saving. Like Kevin said, time is of the essence. And to have this on disc will save so much time."

Extra information about the child is also added to the disc.

"We had some information prior from getting here," Foust said. "Ms. Robinson got it for us from the parents. So, when the child comes in we have an information sheet and we try to get it all typed in. And then we get the fingerprints and the pictures. It's a lot more efficient for us. We don't keep this on file for us at the police department. We do hand this over for parents so they'll have it. And we encourage them to come back in a few years and to have it done again and have the pictures remade and things like that."

Foust said it's about being prepared.

"We don't ever want to have to use the Amber Alert system," Foust said. "But it is there and it is a resource. This just really speeds that process up. We get pictures out there a lot quicker. This disc can be handed to an officer taking the initial report and we can have it out very quickly. And that's what we want because we want to find these kids safe when they are lost."

The Houston and Austin Police Departments are also currently using this system.

Over two hundred children attend Camp Raider.

If you are interested in this digital system, contact the Jonesboro Police Department and ask for the DARE officers.

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