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Emergency responders encourage safety talks with kids

Kids get fingerprinted at the Take 25 event. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

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.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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