PORTAGE | It was a great day for kids to get a jump on summer! On Saturday, April 20, the Portage YMCA hosted a free community event from 10 a.m. to noon. There were sports and crafts and healthy snacks with vendors offering lots of free goodies.
As in the past, the Portage Police Department and Portage Exchange Club joined forces to provide free IDs for kids. These IDs are invaluable if a child is lost or missing since they have a current photo, weight and height, contact numbers and a fingerprint.
Portage Exchange Club members greeted the families, invited the parents to fill out the registration formed, weighed and measured the children. Police Sergeant Keith Hughes manned the computer, typing in the information for the card, while Sgt. Bob Anderson, and Officers Dave Schultz, Nick Vanni, Cara Reeder and Melissa Ames took turns helping the children have their photos and fingerprint taken.
Over the course of two hours, forty-eight children received ID cards. As they waited in line, they were able to look over a selection of brochures and pamphlets provided by both the police and the Exchange Club.
“This is the first time I’ve worked this project,” Exchangite Abby Holstein said. “It’s a great project. The parents and kids are being so pleasant and patient.”
“In this day and age it is extremely important for the police to act as quickly as possible in the case of a missing child,” Exchangite Mike Lemond added. “When something like that happens, the parents are frightened and upset and may not be able to lay their hands on a current photo or know the child’s weight and height off hand. These cards have all that information in one place.”
One of the Exchange Club’s main focuses is the prevention of child abuse. The ID project falls under this focus.
The cards are only for the parents’ or guardians’ information. Once the project concluded at noon, the registration forms were shredded and the information deleted from the computer.