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Kid Print / DNA Profile Collection
Program Overview
One of the departments most popular programs, fingerprinting children has grown in popularity around the country. While no parent wants to face the possibility that their child might be abducted or otherwise become the victim of a crime, the reality is that such horrific events do occur. Parents who face that reality and invest the small amount of time needed to have their child fingerprinted (along with additional services detailed below) will help to assure themselves that should their child be victimized, the family will have a much better chance of being reunited. LEPD's Kid Print program has been developed to be more comprehensive than a simple fingerprinting card, as detailed below.

Collection Kits

The department has obtained cards specifically designed for fingerprinting kids. The front of the card provides a place for the child's full name and the date the prints were taken. Inside the tri-fold card a place is provided for a recent photo of the child, a brief medical record (blood type, allergies, etc.), personal information (age, date of birth, etc.), a hair sample (for DNA purposes), and of course, the child's fingerprints. The back section provides a place for the dentist to record work done to the child's teeth (optional, but worth the time), with the final section detailing a physical description (hair/eye color, braces, race, birthmarks, etc.).

The cards include an ink strip permitting anyone, such as the parent, to print the child themselves; however, our experience shows that unless someone is familiar with the techniques of fingerprinting and does it on a frequent basis, poor results are often obtained. It is much better to allow an officer to do the prints using an inked fingerprint pad, with one exception.

Children Under 5
Small children, generally under the age of 5, are extremely difficult to fingerprint. They tend to want to "ball up" their hands and fingers, making it next to impossible to hold a single finger while printing. For this reason, we generally suggest that the parent take the card home with them and wait until the child falls asleep. When they are in this relaxed state, it is easy to take one finger at a time and collect the fingerprint.

DNA Collection Cards

Because DNA evidence has become such an important feature in investigations, LEPD has obtained companion cards, to be given to parents in conjunction with the fingerprint cards. The GenetiKid™ DNA Kit allows parents to collect and safely store a saliva sample of the child.

While a DNA section is included in the fingerprint kits also, the hair sample does not always contain all of the genetic markers required to obtain a full DNA profile. The hair follicle is generally needed for better results, which usually requires pulling a hair directly from the head, a process that is somewhat painful, especially for a child. In contrast, the saliva sample is painless and can be done in about 20 seconds. The storage process is simple and long-lasting. The kits contain the all of the necessary components for collection and storage of the sample.

Keeping Collection Cards Updated
To maintain a complete and up-to-date record of the child as they mature, the parent should, at a minimum, take a photo of the child at least annually and place it in the kid print booklet. Additionally, dental records and impressions should be updated after every dental visit. As added assurance, it is not a bad idea to replace the entire fingerprint card and have new fingerprints taken every few years until the child reaches junior high.

Young Children
Young children are difficult to fingerprint, even for professionals. Smudges and other blemishes sometimes occur despite everyone's best efforts, possibly rendering the individual print unusable. Additionally, as fingers grow larger it is much easier to read and classify their prints. Having additional prints taken over the growing years will help to overcome these potential problems.

Requirements & Disclaimer

Of course, LEPD cannot guarantee that completion of these cards will ensure your child's safety or their safe return in the event they are abducted. These are simply tools for parents to use to take a considered and proactive approach to protect their child and to assist law enforcement in any criminal investigation that may be required.

The presence of at least one consenting parent or legal guardian is routinely required when any child is fingerprinted. The completed cards are not retained by the police department. They are the property of the parent and are given directly to them upon completion for their safe retention.

Kid Print Events
These events can be done on an individual basis upon the parent or legal guardians request, but a far more effective means is to schedule one of our officers to attend a birthday party, a fundraiser, a grand opening of a business, etc. where large numbers of children and their parents are present. At various town sponsored festivals and large events, such as the annual Health Fair in the spring of each year and National Night Out, officers have booths set up specifically to do Kid Print.

To assist you in setting up a fingerprinting event, please contact our Community Services Division via email or at (972) 377-1885.