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Police put ink to tiny fingers

By RYAN MEEHAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 1, 2002

TEMPLE TERRACE -- She's only a year old and already a policeman has taken her fingerprints and mug shot.

But Claire Valley wasn't being booked Wednesday for grand theft pacifier. Her mother had brought her to the Temple Terrace Library to participate in a program to protect kids.

Parents are given the photographs and fingerprints for safekeeping. Should a kidnapping occur, parents can assist police immediately.

"Every day you pick up the paper, there are horrible things happening," said Nita Heck, who brought three of her grandchildren.

Temple Terrace police, participants in the program for eight years, distribute the fingerprinting kits for free.

How many times have Temple Terrace police officers had to use the fingerprints or photos?

Patrol Officer John Spala knocks on wood.

"We haven't had to use it yet," he said.

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