On Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, the Mechanicsville Masonic Lodge #260 is Sponsoring a MoCHIP— Child Identification and Protection Program. This is a free event, held at the lodge, 2959 Hwy. 94 South, Defiance, MO 63341, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
No parent wants to believe that the unimaginable could happen, but nearly 2,000 children are reported missing or abducted in the United States each day. More than 240,000 children have been processed through MoCHIP, and the peace of mind the program provides is invaluable. Girls and boys ages 11-21 are statistically most susceptible to become missing. Once the child is processed through the program, which takes about 15 minutes, the parent is armed with a single pre-printed envelope that instructs authorities in the event of an emergency. Within a matter of minutes, the MoCHIP CD can be loaded into a computer inside a patrol car and entered into the Amber Alert system.
Deemed “one of the most comprehensive child recovery and identification programs in the nation,” by The National Center for Exploited and Missing Children NCEMC—MoCHIP, is solely sponsored by the Masonic Children’s Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Masons. The program has 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 data are burned onto a mini-CD that is compatible with the AMBER ALERT system. The dental impression, like fingerprints, is unique to each individual, and supplies enough saliva to provide a DNA sample that can also be used as scent source for trained canines.
Parents are urged to bring pertinent information 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.