MASON CITY, Iowa – It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to have their child get lost or even be kidnapped, but one organization is helping local families prepare for this type of an emergency.
Operation Kidsafe is an organization dedicated to creating fingerprint profiles for children that law enforcement officials can use to help find a child if they are ever separated or taken from their family.
Nicole Marsh of Mason City, and her 3-year-old daughter Victoria are nearly inseparable and their bond is something that Marsh says she’s thankful for, but never wants to see broken.
“With all the stuff going on, it only takes a second for somebody to take your child, so that scares me,” she says.
While families like the Marsh’s hope they’ll never have to use it, they attended a fingerprinting event at Roller City on Saturday with Operation Kidsafe so that they can create their own profile and be prepared for the worst.
Leslie Clay, the representative helping out at Saturday’s event, says that it is never their intent to frighten parents about what could happen, but rather, inform them on what they might need if something ever actually happens.
“It just keeps everything up to date and in the situation when emotions and everything is so high it’s really easy to hand this over to law-enforcement and give them one step faster to getting out there,” Clay says.
Operation Kidsafe works with children ages one and older, and folks like Clay recommend that parents update their child’s information as it becomes available.
For example, changing and updating a child’s height, weight and age are important so that the information can be as useful as possible in finding and identifying a child.
Clay says that it is also important for families to update the photo on the profile as well, which is something that is as easy as snapping a new head shot, printing if off and adding it to your file.
However, Roller City in Mason City was not the only opportunity to have a profile created.
Kidsafe will be in our area again on Sunday at Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea and fingerprinting and photos will be available from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.