Event to provide free child identification cards

Noel Lyn Smith
nsmith@daily-times.com
Ryston Guy, of Kirtland, center holds a candle during a candlelight vigil for Ashlynne Mike May 2 at the San Juan Chapter house in Lower Fruitland.

FARMINGTON – Time is important when a child is abducted, and an event this weekend is designed to help parents save time in gathering their child's information to share with police.

The Farmington Police Department, the San Juan Plaza, and Baby and Me are sponsoring a child safety day Saturday to help families by providing free child identification cards. Each card will contain details about the child, including his or her name, parent contact information, address, telephone number, and medical and dental information.

In addition, police officers will help in collecting the child's fingerprints, photograph and a DNA sample using a cheek swab. That information will be attached to the identification card.

Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen said it is important for parents to have that information available because in the event of a disappearance, it can be quickly shared with law enforcement personnel.

The San Juan Plaza and the police department have organized the event since 2013, and it is offered in the spring and fall, according to a police department press release.

Craig Yoshimoto, the plaza's property manager, said approximately 140 people attended the last child safety day in September. Both Allen and Yoshimoto said they anticipate more families will attend Saturday's event in response to the May 2 kidnapping and death of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike.

Yoshimoto said there was an increase in number of fliers distributed for the event, and that included a request from Ojo Amarillo Elementary School for 500 fliers, which were sent home with students. Mike and her younger brother were students at the school.

The plaza will continue to help sponsor and host the event as long as there is a need in the community, he said.

Safer New Mexico Now, an Albuquerque-based organization that focuses on reducing the number of injuries and deaths on highways in the state, will inspect child safety seats to insure proper installation.

No appointment is needed for the fittings, the police department release states.

Child Safety Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the San Juan Plaza's north shopping center, near Hobby Lobby, in Farmington.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-546-4636.