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DNA LifePrint program to be offered at West Acres

DNA LifePrint will be offering the John Walsh Safety Program at West Acres Shopping Mall on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program will equip parents with vital information helpful to law enforcement in the event their child is ever abducted or missing.

Participants in the free event will receive a kit including FBI certified Biometric fingerprinting, a DNA identification kit, a color digital photo, and a child safety journal to record vital information that would provide important facts needed by law officials immediately after a child is reported missing that could make the difference of whether the child is found.

Detective Sergeant Joe Matthews, a retired detective who was the supervisor in charge of the homicide division for the City of Miami Beach Police Department during the famous "Baby Lollipop" homicide, founded the DNA LifePrint program.

The program is also endorsed by John Walsh, host of the famous TV show, 'America's Most Wanted,' whose six-year-old son, Adam, disappeared from a shopping center in Miami Beach in 1981, and found murdered two weeks later. John Walsh and his wife, Reve, are determined to make sure that no one else goes through what they did. At the time of their son's abduction, they found there were few national organizations or systems in place to help locate missing children. Very little information was shared between counties and townships, or across state lines.

Soon after their son's death, the couple began working to reform current laws regarding missing children and crime victims. They established the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, and started educational programs, working with law enforcement and the media to increase public awareness.

Records show that every 40 seconds a child becomes missing somewhere in the United States. Law enforcement officials say that time is critical in the recovery of a missing child. Currently there are over 603,000 registered sex offenders threatening the safety of our children. Participating in the DNA LifePrint program can help make area children safer.

The Fargo Police Department and Nodak Mutual Insurance are helping sponsor the West Acres event.