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Law enforcement students to host Child Safety Day

WORTHINGTON — Students in the law enforcement program at Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s Worthington campus will host Child Safety Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the fine arts theater on campus.

Students will be on hand to help parents fill out child safety kits provided by the Polly Klaas Foundation and help answer questions on how to keep children safe.

The Polly Klaas Foundation developed a child safety kit with information on abduction prevention and finding missing children after Polly was kidnapped and murdered in 1993.

“The students will be passing out booklets, which (are) great about talking to your kids about strangers,” said Ronald Schwint, a law enforcement instructor at Minnesota West and a former Sioux Falls Police Department officer. “The goal of this day will be to provide some information to parents on abductions and missing children. The LE students will help parents fill out the kit and do the kids’ fingerprinting in the kit.

“Once it’s completed, the parents will keep the kit,” he added. “(It) can be used by law enforcement in the unfortunate event if their child is ever missing or abducted. This helps law enforcement identify missing kids. … Too many times we have seen kids who have been abducted or even runaways who have gone missing, and we have no way of identifying them.

Saturday’s event is in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is April 6-12. Representatives from Nobles County Integration Collaborative and Southwest Crisis Center, as well as attorneys for victims’ rights, will be present Saturday to answer questions and distribute information about their services.

“The law enforcement students have done a lot with the collaborative,” Schwint explained. “When I started here last year, I had the students go and talk to newly incoming immigrants about things like how to buy a vehicle and how to properly insure and register a vehicle. The first one we did brought in 30 people, and now hundreds of people come to that, so I’m hoping this event will be the same.”

Schwint hopes the event will give people a better awareness about missing and abducted children, and how to prevent that from happening as best as they can.

“I think this event will be great for community service for the students,” Schwint said. “I think if people are more aware, this will reduce the number of calls for service and make for better interaction with the community.”

Schwint plans to make Child Safety Day a yearly event to inform as many parents and help as many children as possible.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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