Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP auxiliary constable Lisa Jameson fingerprints Owen Peterson

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP auxiliary constable Lisa Jameson fingerprints Owen Peterson

Vernon-North Okanagan auxiliaries bolster Child Find program

At one table, Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP auxiliary constable Lisa Jameson records fingerprints.

At one table, Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP auxiliary constable Lisa Jameson records fingerprints. At another table, auxiliary constable Cindy Graves records data into a computer.

The volunteer pair do this for two hours on a hot Saturday morning in Armstrong at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club for more than 40 children as part of Operation Child Find, a program developed by the local detachment.

“We provide parents and guardians the opportunity to gather critical information such as a photograph, a detailed description, fingerprints and most recently DNA, of their child which is required by the RCMP in the event of a child being reported missing,” said Cpl. Trevor Tribes, who oversees the program which is helped out greatly by auxiliary constables such as Jameson and Graves.

All information gathered by the auxiliaries is given to the parent or guardian to take home and keep in a safe place, as the police do not keep any of the information on file.

“Should a crisis occur, the information is readily available to provide to RCMP immediately, without any stress or confusion,” said Tribes, who praised the role Jameson has taken on by organizing events such as the one in Armstrong, and another Operation Child Find Saturday in Enderby.

“She ensures the kit for the program is in good working order and has done this right from the program’s inception,” said Tribes. “All of the auxiliaries are involved with the program, as are others. They’re all volunteers, they don’t get paid. They’re a pretty dedicated group.”

Jameson and Graves will be in Enderby Saturday participating in the city’s youth day. They will be offering the Child Find program outside the Enderby Credit Union from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This is the third year of the program, which had its kickoff in Vernon at the annual Downtown Vernon Association’s Sunshine Festival.

Tribes said auxiliaries are planning to be involved in this year’s festival, June 16, in downtown Vernon.

Parents are encouraged to pick up an Operation Child Find kit at such events, or at the City of Vernon RCMP Community Policing Office (#101-3334-30th Avenue).

Organizations such as daycares or youth groups who would like the program to come to them can call the community policing office at 250-550-7840.