- Hendrick Lexus Kansas City is hosting Operation Kidsafe, a permanent fingerprint station, in an unusual community-service effort.
- The digital technology captures a child's fingerprints and headshot, then copies are given to parents to have available for law enforcement if an emergency arises.
- The Hendrick Lexus site is the first location in the state of Kansas to host a year-long station.
MERRIAM, Kansas — Fingerprints at a car dealership are often frowned upon but not at Hendrick Lexus. The Kansas City-area institution has rolled out the welcome mat to a permanent fingerprint station, Operation Kidsafe.
Operation Kidsafe uses the latest digital system to capture a child's fingerprints, along with a photograph. The information is then printed on a hard copy and handed to the parent for safe-keeping. Should a child become lost or kidnapped, the parent will have the valuable information for law enforcement.
The Hendrick Lexus site is the first location in the entire state of Kansas that will be available for more than just a weekend event, said Mark Bott, founder of Operation Kidsafe, in a statement.
It will be available for an entire year.
The dealership hosted Operation Kidsafe for a weekend in July and had about 250 families in the showroom to use the service, Becky Voyles, Hendrick's program coordinator, told Edmunds.
"We got a lot of phone calls asking when we were going to do it again and that finalized our decision to host it for a year," Voyles explained.
The entire sales and service team are trained to use the Kidsafe equipment, a process that takes less than a minute.
"It doesn't matter if we sell a car from it," Voyles said. "It's not about us. It's about the kids and keeping them safe."
The FBI recommends that parents keep a record of their child's physical description on hand.
"Not only because everyone's fingerprints are unique, but also because they don't change over time like physical appearances," it said in a statement posted on its Web site. "We also recommend that you update the photos of your kids in the kits at least once a year."
Edmunds says: Families flocking into a dealership in the name of child safety translates to some all-important showroom traffic.