A buisnessman who has been a longtime activist in child safety - especially from predators - is bringing a free fingerprint identification program to Russellville, thanks to Mansfield Chevrolet.
Mark Bott, who has worked to help get laws like the Amber Alert and Megan’s Law on the books, has sponsored Operation Kidsafe, which produces a safety kit for parents that includes a digital image of their child’s fingerprints to be given to authorities in the event of an abduction or other emergency.
In the case of an emergency, parents can take the kit to any police station and the fingerprints can be scanned into a North America-wide police database to help locate a missing child.
This is the 11th year for the program, which has fingerprinted over 1 million children so far.
Parents can come to Mansfield Chevrolet on Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to take advantage of the free service.
Botts pointed out that this is made possible by the car dealership, but parents are not required to pay or do anything to take use it.
“They are providing their showroom for us to use as space and they are paying our expenses to come down,” Bott said. “But parents don’t have to take a test drive or do anything - the dealership there gets it, they are giving back to the community.”
Parents will take home a sturdy document that has their child’s digital fingerprints and photograph on one side and safety tips on the back.
One of the best things about the program, Bott said, is that there is nothing put into a database about the children that take part in the fingerprinting program.
“I am a big believer in privacy,” Bott said. “And this is totally private. The parents will take home the only record of the visit.”
Botts said the only people that need to have any information about your child is his or her school and doctor.
“And maybe law enforcement - but only in the case of an emergency,” Bott said.