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KC Sheriff’s Office keeping children safe

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office provided more than 300 children with identification and fingerprints at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede. - Photo by Charlie Bermant
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office provided more than 300 children with identification and fingerprints at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede.
— image credit: Photo by Charlie Bermant

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office provided 315 local children with identification and fingerprints at this year’s Kitsap County Fair & Stampede, so their parents can identify them if they go missing.

“This is an important thing for all parents to do, as important as having an updated will,” said Sheriff’s Community Resource Officer Pete Ball. “We recommend that parents come in every year for younger children, and every two years when children are seven or older.”

The number served was down from last year’s total of 500.

At the booth, parents paid $5 for a CD that contained a digital photograph and a set of fingerprints. After the fair the data is not kept by the sheriff’s department and becomes the parent’s responsibility for storage.

“We do not have the resources to administer this data,” Ball said. “And we want to protect people’s privacy.”

The money collected was used to cover costs. For an additional $3, parents could purchase a DNA kit.

Ball suggested that parents keep the disk in a safe deposit box or another secured location. He said that fingerprints don’t change over the years, but as kids get older the prints become easier to read. And DNA does not degrade.

Ball said that in many cases the data would be used “in the worst cases,” but would also be helpful to identify abductees who have been missing for several years.

Ball said there were no plans to offer the identification service year round, “but that would be my goal.”

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