A Ventura video store owner is offering parents free videotapes of their children to help safeguard young people and at the same time recycle hundreds of tapes that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Jim Salzer, a self-labeled environmentalist and owner of the music and videotape stores that bear his name, will offer his services taping children from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of his store at 5801 Valentine Road.
“The trick is to get the kids to be animated and give the parents something that’s worthwhile,” said Salzer.
He offered the tapes, which can be used to identify children in the event a child is lost or kidnaped, eight years ago for a $5 fee to recoup his costs. But only a handful of parents took advantage of the program at the time.
Salzer said the new “Kid Video I.D.” program will meet two goals: provide parents with a video portrait that investigators could use to identify an abducted or lost child, and recycle hundreds of videotapes thrown away each year.
“I’ve got about 500 tapes that I’ve saved over the years, so that should kick it off,” he said.
Salzer urged other videotape distributors and retailers to donate used or unwatched tapes to his store so he can continue the identification program on a monthly basis.
“Video stores get hundreds yearly that are 10- to 15-minutes in length that the video manufacturers use to promote their product,” he said. “These tapes go unused and usually unseen and are discarded.”