Vandalia’s Masonic Lodge 491 will host its “Missouri Child Identification and Protection” (MoCHIP) program on Saturday, October 13 at the Van-Far High School gym.
Free of charge, the program logs enrollees’ digital photographs, digital fingerprints, vital information and emergency contacts, a dental bite impression, and two laminated identification cards, this according to the Missouri Masonic Children’s Foundation.
After the identification process is complete, which takes about 15 minutes, parents will be armed with a “single pre-printed envelope that instructs authorities in the event of an emergency.” Children of all ages are encouraged to participate.
Each participant’s photographs, fingerprints, and data will be burned to a disk, which can be loaded into the computer of a police vehicle and entered into the Amber Alert system.
Dental impressions, which are as unique as fingerprints, provide authorities with a biting-surface diagram, DNA, and a scent usable by a canine search team.
For the event, parents should organize information such as the:
• Doctor or dentist of the child
• Emergency contact information
• Allergies and medications of the child
• Parents’ or legal guardians’ work, cell, and other necessary phone numbers
Information collection forms, and permission slips can be found at www.mochip.org. Height charts and weight scales will be provided at the event.
Information and specimens collected on-site will be processed and provided to parents or legal guardians in a yellow envelope.
MCF will keep only the permission slip and erase all data at the end of the event to ensure the security of information provided.
The National Center for Exploited and Missing Children declared MoCHIP as “one of the most comprehensive child recovery and identification programs in the nation.” In six years, more than 150,000 children have been enrolled.
The local Masonic Family will be on hand to facilitate enrollment. Contact Charles Scrogin for additional information at 594-3339.