For the past 15 years, Lynda Clardy has been heading up the Child ID Program. She came up with the idea after watching a show about abducted children. It allows children to get their photos and fingerprints taken, along with a DNA for future identification. In cooperation with police and sheriff's departments, it's free to parents.
"It gives law enforcement more tools to work with," said Clardy at an event in Marion over the weekend.
This is only the second year the program has been hosted locally and continues to be successful.
"We work with law enforcement, churches, Head Start, daycares, anyone that needs our services," Clardy said.
"There are so many bad things out there and we are happy to have the program. If we do need it, we have it," said Kevin Taylor, Marion's police chief.
The DNA swab will last for 80 years, while the photos taken can be used on the Amber Alert program.
"You pray to the Lord nothing would ever go wrong but I also praise the Lord for programs like this," said Larie Mizell, a grandparent.
The kids involved also learned a valuable lesson.
"I learned a lesson not to talk to strangers because they might take me, too," said Crystal Parker.
"Now that my mom has my pictures and fingerprints, she will keep them safe so no one gets them," said Chris Agent.
The Lynda Clardy Child ID Program travels all over the state throughout the year and is not just for children but for the elderly and those suffering from Alzheimer's disease as well.
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