Free fingerprinting station for families

Langley's Preston Chevrolet GMC offering Operation Kidsafe fingerprinting station

A young girl displays the kit which each parent receives as part of the Operation Kidsafe program.

Preston’s GM of Langley will be the first place in B.C. to offer an Operation Kidsafe fingerprinting station for families, free of charge.

The unit allows parents to take home a print out of their children’s fingerprints and black and white photograph which can act as a lifetime safety record.

“All of our efforts in giving back to the community are directed at family and kids so this fits nicely,” said Preston’s general manager Peter Heppner.

The machine will be available for families to use in the Preston showroom for at least one year.

On Wednesday, families are invited to celebrate the grand opening of the fingerprinting station at 10 a.m. The founder of Operation Kidsafe Mark J. Bott will be speaking and there are some surprises for kids too, said Heppner.

Vancouver Canucks’ Fin and Fraser,  the Rivermen’s mascot will be there as well.

“The more kids the merrier,” said Heppner.

Operation Kidsafe fingerprinting stations has served more than one million children in North America in the past 11 years. The one in Langley will be the eighth in Canada.

Staff at Preston’s will be trained on how to use the machine so it can be used year-round.

Bott, a parent of seven children, said he began “his life’s work,” Operations Kidsafe out of a personal experience involving a child’s safety.

The ex-football player began working with John Walsh, of America’s Most Wanted and was involved in his home town of Dallas where Amber Alerts first began, so named after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted.

“When a child is missing, the public, the media and police all should be on the same page,” said Bott. Fingerprinting is another tool to help.

Bott wants to stress to parents that the machine doesn’t have a database or memory holding each child’s information.

“I am a firm believer that the only ones who need your child’s information is your health provider, school and you,” he said.

But should police need fingerprints, the parents will have them ready. A North American database for police use was established in 2000.

The big focus for Bott is also on keeping children safe through education.

“On the back of their bio document are tips for parents,” Bott said.

Working with the FBI and Secret Service, Bott said he has learned key things children can use to stay safe.

The number one safety tip from the FBI is “Check First,” he said.

“Stranger danger isn’t that applicable given 80 per cent of crimes are done by people children know or perceive they know, like the neighbour that everyone waves at but doesn’t really know.”

Check First teaches children that if anyone approaches them to ask them to go with them, “run as fast as you can to an appropriate adult and check first,” said Bott.

Bott will be speaking about safety tips at the opening at Preston GM on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 10 a.m. Preston’s is located at 19990 Langley Bypass.

Just Posted

Appeal filed in Langley condo case

Lawyer for buyers seeks a court order preventing cancellation of purchase contracts

‘Bad Ass’ Barry McQuarrie sentenced to 14 years

McQuarrie shot and killed his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend

UPDATED: Langley City bicycle patrols to address homeless problems

Council approves bike purchase for bylaw enforcement officers

VIDEO: Fatal crash in Langley

RCMP investigate fatal collision between a vehicle and a motorcycle in Aldergrove

‘I am still in awe’ says Aldergrove’s Martel

Ryan Martel enjoying rookie season with Calgary Roughnecks

Police release criminal profile of suspect in Burnaby teen’s murder

Marrisa Shen was found dead in a Burnaby park last summer

B.C. woman petitioning for free Wi-Fi in Canadian hospitals

Some hospitals in the province already offer the service, but most of them do not

Small aircraft touches down on Calgary street

The twin-engine plane was apparently short on fuel forcing an emergency landing

Man charged in 1996 sex assault of New Westminster senior dies

James Gray was charged with a litany of assault-related offences against 79-year-old

5 to start your day

Police take down knife-wielding man, Port Mann Bridge closed Tuesday night and more

Issues split Trump and Macron, handshakes and kisses aside

Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron professed a sunny, best-friends relationship

How hospitals prepare for mass-casualty incidents

Code Orange alerts explained following the Toronto van attack

Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator

A jury of seven men and five women are to decide actor Bill Cosby’s fate

Memorial to victims of Toronto van attack continues to grow

The subway station where a van was used to run down pedestrians has reopened in Toronto

Most Read