By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Not being able to find your child is every parentâ€™s worst nightmare.
The Lynda Clardy Child Identification Clinic will offer free digital finger printing, digital imaging and DNA swabs for children, senior citizens and vulnerable adults at the Piggly Wiggly from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.
The information collected at the event will be given to parents or guardians to keep in case of an emergency. All the information collected is vital for an Amber Alert.
â€śWe support programs like this because we feel like it gives parents the ability to identify their children if they ever had something happen to them,â€ť Starkville Police Chief David Lindley said. â€śIt gives them peace of mind. Children come up missing all over the country on a regular basis, and information like this is rarely available to the police.â€ť
The Starkville Police Department often sponsors a child identification program once a year for local residents.
The digital imaging program will document eye and hair color, any scars or birthmarks, dental and optical information and anything that could be used for physical identification and is printed on two ID cards and the Child ID form. The fingerprinting system will collect prints from all 10 fingers, which will be saved on a universal PDF format. All the information is saved on a CD and given to parents.
The information is never saved on the computer, so there is no risk of identity theft. The parent or guardian is the only one who has control of the information.
The program is recommended not only for children, but adults with Alzheimerâ€™s, who are mentally challenged or at risk of wandering away.