MoCHIP Child Identification Program to be held in Shell Knob

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

No parent wants to believe that the unimaginable could happen to them, though nearly 2,000 children are reported missing or abducted in the United States each day. Therefore, the peace of mind the MoCHIP Child Identification and Protection Program provides to Missouri families is invaluable.

With more than 237,000 children processed through the MoCHIP Child ID program in 11 years, MoCHIP is clearly a presence in the community and vows to remain so.

On Saturday, Jan. 20, the Masonic Lodge, Central Crossing Lodge #674, will be sponsoring a MoCHIP Identification event to further ensure the safety of area children — free of charge, thanks to the Missouri Masonic Children's Foundation, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shell Knob Elementary School, located on Highway 39.

The MoCHIP program works. Consisting of five major components — digital photographs, digital fingerprints, vital child information and emergency contacts, a dental bite impression and two laminated ID cards, the photographs, fingerprints, and child data are burned onto a mini-CD that is compatible with the AMBER ALERT system already in place. The dental impression provides a virtual diagram of

the child’s biting surface, which, like fingerprints is unique to each individual, and further supplies enough saliva to provide a DNA sample that can also be used as scent source for trained canine search teams. Combined, this five-part process provides a dramatic, time-sensitive recovery tool for authorities.

Once the child is processed through the program, which generally takes only 15 minutes, the parent is armed with a single pre-printed envelope that instructs authorities in the event of an emergency, something a parent in crisis would undoubtedly have trouble with, and a proactive measure to combat the time sensitivity involved in recovery. Within a matter of minutes, the MoCHIP CD can be loaded into a computer directly from a police officer's automobile and entered into the Amber Alert system. Girls and boys ages 11 to 21 are statistically most susceptible to become missing and the MoCHIP Packet, which contains all of the child’s vital information, has been tested at least and resulted in all children — teenagers, being returned safely and promptly to their parents' care.

On the day of the MoCHIP event, parents are urged to gather pertinent information about such as, doctor, dentist, and emergency contact and phone numbers, allergies, medications, and parent work, cell, and assorted phone numbers. Information collection forms and permission slips can be downloaded from the mochip.org website and filled out ahead of time. Height charts and scales are available at the event to facilitate the most current details regarding the child.

As would be expected, security and privacy are of utmost importance. All information and specimens are collected on site, processed and provided to the parent or legal guardian in a yellow envelope. At the end of each event, databases are erased using state-of-the-art software. The only item retained by the Masonic Children’s Foundation is the signed permission slip.

Please visit www.mochip.org for more information, to find an event in your area, or to schedule an event. We are also a featured cause on Facebook, and can be found on Twitter, too.

For more information on becoming a corporate partner or to make a donation, please contact MoCHIP State Coordinator Nick Cichielo at ncichielo@gmail.com, or 636.530.6069.

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