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Emergency responders encourage safety talks with kids

PHOENIX — Arizona emergency personnel were in the North Valley on Friday to encourage parents to set aside time to talk to children about safety.

Phoenix police, firefighters and others showed up at Desert Ridge Marketplace to talk to shoppers about child safety. They were there to promote the Take 25 program, which encourages parents to pledge to take 25 minutes to discuss safety with kids.

“It can encompass crossing the streets or working with adults,” said Cosme Lopez, a community outreach specialist with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “They can tell kids that if they’re uncomfortable about a nearby adult, they can go tell their parents, teachers or a law enforcement agent.”

While some kids stayed cool by playing in some nearby fountains, others were getting fingerprinted and had a DNA sample taken.

Karla Delore is glad she brought her kids here.

“I do have three boys, and it’s just my husband and I,” she said. “Sometimes, it’s easy to lose one of the kids in the mix when we’re in a crowded public place, so it gives extra piece of mind that there’s an extra security measure for them. Also, I think it’s good for my kids to see that we’re looking out for them, rhat law enforcement’s looking out for them and taking care of them to look out for their best interests.”

Over 800,000 children are reported missing each year in America. The FBI said that over 500,000 were abducted last year alone.