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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Program protects children

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Missouri Child Identification and Protection Program (MOCHIP) was held and hosted by the Monett Masonic Lodge #129 AF&AM on Saturday, May 7.

Approximately 70 children attended to participate in the program. The youngest child was three days old.

The free event is held annually and is a comprehensive child identification protection program designed to provide families with a means of preparation if their child or teen becomes missing. The program is compatible Amber Alert and theme park systems.

MOCHIP has been active for six years, and this is the third year for Monett to participate. Statewide, MOCHIP has identified over 125,000 children.

The stages of the identification process consist of collecting information from the parents and entering it into the computer, taking the individual's picture, fingerprinting both hands and obtaining dental impressions and a DNA swab.

Once the process is completed, each participant receives a packet with the information on a mini compact disc, two laminated identification cards, the dental bite impression and DNA swab. The Masonic Children's Foundation retains no information concerning participants except a signed permission form.

The regional coordinator of the MOCHIP program of the Missouri Masonic Children's Foundation is David Collignon.

"This mini compact disc is compatible with the Amber Alert system," said Collignon. "It is theme park compatible which means that if you are at a major park that is hooked into the Amber Alert system and your child is lost, the information will be posted all over the park within minutes."

Local event coordinator is Randall Prock.

"When the system is activated through the local police department it only takes one to two minutes to get the information out locally," said Prock. "Nationally, it takes four to five minutes."

Services are offered free of charge, supported by Missouri Freemasons and other sponsors.

For more information or to find locations of upcoming MOCHIP sites, visit www.mochip.org.

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