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New police ID system means no more inky little fingers

Electronic fingerprinting will be used to help identify missing kids
By: Autumn Matz, Placer Herald Correspondent
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For more photos: Digital child ID kits make it easier

Technology allows people to interact with others even when they are across the county, helps teachers conduct lesson plans and is now being used to help keep children safe.
The Rocklin Police Department is offering parents the opportunity to get a free Children Identification Kit established for their child. The Child ID kit includes a photograph, fingerprint and hair sample that are packaged and given to parents.
The kit is used to help police identify children if they go missing or are lost. By having the information on record, the kit saves time when parents or police officers are looking for a child.
Previously, the police department used ink fingerprints and Polaroid pictures in the kits, but those options were beginning to become outdated.
“In the past we gave parents a kit containing a Polaroid picture, hair sample, ink fingerprints and safety tips,” said Becky Kanowsky, child ID coordinator. “Polaroid discontinued the film and our ink fingerprints were often smeared because kids are wiggly.”
The system is new and includes several upgrades over the previous systems that the police department was using.
“The exciting new set-up is a computer, printer and digital camera that automatically downloads to the computer and a gel pad for fingerprints that also is auto download,” Kanowsky said. “The fingerprint quality is far superior and much faster. The picture is printed on the same form as the other information so there’s nothing to do but print.”
By upgrading to a new system, the police department is hoping to be more successful collecting identification from children.
“We have tried digital cameras with a portable printer and downloaded, but it is slow and parents sometimes leave when the line gets too long,” Kanowsky said.
To fund the new system, the department applied for and received grants from Thunder Valley Casino, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Auburn Masonic Lodge, Rocklin Rotary, Home Depot, Run Rocklin, Richard and Deborah Wrenn, Quinn and Phyllis Koon, Rebecca Kanowsky, Gary and Barbara Tamblin and Mario Landi.
There are several upcoming events where parents can get their child’s photo taken and fingerprint and hair samples including the Healthy Picnic on Sept. 2, the Rocklin High School Track Cancer Relay on Sept. 12 and the Hot Chili and Cool Cars event on Sept. 19.
For more information on the Child ID Kits contact Becky Kanowsky at 435-8175 or Mike Nottoli at 625-5416.
Autumn Matz can be reached at autumnm@goldcountrymedia.com.