VFW Post 8282 donates to police program for kids
Robert M. Fegley VFW Post 8282, Breinigsville, recently donated $2,000 to the Upper Macungie Township Police Department to help fund the department’s fingerprinting and DNA testing program for children.
“We started with a community donation and we looked for areas where we could be helpful in the community,” VFW Post 8282 Commander William Richards said, at the post’s Feb. 19 meeting. “It was brought to our attention the Upper Macungie Police Department could use a little help.”
Bonnie Reppert, bar steward with the VFW, presented the $2,000 donation.
Upper Macungie Township Community Service Police Officer Bill Rohrbach told The Press the VFW contacted Police Chief Edgardo Colon about donating the funds for a community project relating to kids.
“We have been wanting to start this program for awhile but our community budget wasn’t enough to start the program,” Rohrbach said. “But with this donation we were able to order enough ‘Who-I-Am Complete Child ID Kits’ packets.”
Rohrbach said many times parents are nervous the police are creating some database of 6 year olds, but they are not.
“We want you guys to have the information for your kids,” he stated.
“It’s all in this little packet. It explains how to fingerprint, how to take the DNA sample and it also has charts so you can keep track of your kids’ growth and everything else.”
There is even an emergency card parents can carry in their wallets or purse.
“These kits become very valuable if the kid goes missing,” Rohrbach stated. “I suggested it especially for the kids who tend to wander, such as artistic kids.”
Rohrbach said the child does not have to be a resident of Upper Macungie to receive one of these kits.
“It does say Upper Macungie Township Police Department and compliments of the Breinigsville VFW Post 8282 on the form but anybody can have these from across the country or the world as long as they give it to the right police department when they need it,” he explained. “The beauty of this program is it is zero cost to parents, grandparents and the police department.”
The kits cut down on manpower hours it takes to set up the appropriate equipment to do fingerprinting and DNA testing.
“We can just hand out these packets to parents and they do it themselves,” he said. “They can feel comfortable doing it at home. It is wonderful.”
“Without your precious donation we wouldn’t be able to have this program, so we really appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts,” Rohrbach told VFW members.
With the donation, police were able to purchase about 1,700 kits.
In the past two years, VFW Post 8282 has donated more than $34,000 to Alburtis, Fogelsville, Topton, Weisenberg and Good Will, Trexlertown fire companies, Breinigsville Vets, Youth Association Baseball Team, Keystone Warriors, Blandon, Topton Ambulance Corps and Doug Rassler, a 1976 Northwestern Lehigh graduate, who has gastroesophageal cancer.
They have also helped many local veterans who have needed a helping hand.
To obtain a packet, call the Upper Macungie Township Police Department at 484-661-5911.