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Sheriff's department and local Masons do safety ID program for elementary schools

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -The Cotton County Sheriff's department is traveling to area schools this week, along with local masons, all in an effort to collect information to help in missing children's cases.

Parents of children in pre-K through 2nd grade at Temple Elementary school signed off to allow their child to participate in the ID program. The equipment used for the identification process was from the Masonic Lodge in Walters. The fraternity has local chapters in each state and participates in charity events. 

It is free for the students and school to host it, but the Masons paid 5 dollars per child to cover the costs of creating these ID packets. 

"If something does happen," Mindy Abbe, Aunt of child. "It's better to be safe than sorry. Then, they already have a head start on trying to find him."

Mindy Abbe is the aunt of Ace, a student in Pre-K at Temple Elementary. She says she came to the school to show support for her nephew and because he asked her to take his picture of what he was doing today.

"Getting fingerprinted," Ace Abbe, Pre-K student.

Mindy says the family would go straight into panic mode if something were to happen to her nephew, but because of this information they now have... Ace's scent to give to K-9's from the dental impressions so they can sniff him, a voice recording of him talking and answering questions only certain people would know about him, makes her feel.

"Secure and safe," Mindy Abbe, Aunt of child.

Sheriff Kent Simpson of Cotton County says they've been doing these ID programs for over a year now and thankfully, they've never had to use it in a real situation. They take front, side, and back pictures of the child. It also includes the child's weight, height and eye color.
Simpson says it's important the parents have this because it can save precious time. They also want to assure parents on how the information is used.

"Parents can be at ease this is not for anything, except for them," said Simpson."We all hope that this will never happen to us but it's happening all over the world. We do have bad people out there. We really need to get a hold of this and we need to be a step ahead. It's a lot better to be proactive than reactive."

Simpson encourages all parents with children of all ages to have information like this handy because you never know when something might happen. He also has other tips for parents.

"Take a daily or weekly picture of their child," said Simpson. "Also, make a physical note of what their children are wearing. If a child get's abducted, the first thing as we, law enforcement will get is a recent photo and what they were wearing on that day because the quicker we find them, the better."

The Masons and Cotton County Sheriff's department also visited Walters elementary and Big Pasture elementary today to do the identification program on students in Pre-K through 2nd grade. The next school on their agenda is Geronimo on Wednesday.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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