In Case of Amber Alert, Area Parents Register for Child ID Kits
Now in its tenth year, the Missouri Child Identification Program, or MoCHIP, has been providing free child identification kits to parents. These kits assist law enforcement when searching for missing children.
On Saturday, MoCHIP held its latest Child ID signup event.
Personal information becomes an essential recovery tool when a child is reported missing, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
MoCHIP Regional coordinator David Collignon says for the distraught and shocked parent of the missing child, however, remembering even the most basic facts about their child can be very difficult. He says the MoCHIP program creates an identification packet that is ready to hand to law enforcement when a child is missing.
“We put all that information that’s necessary to make an Amber Alert on a CD…three pictures of the child as well as a ten card -all ten fingerprints - and the last piece is a dental impression if they have teeth, [which] provides a DNA sample.”
After the CD and ID card are given to the parents, the databanks are all erased, according to MoCHIP’s official website.
Collignon explains the program has registered 205,000 children as of last September. He says the information packets have helped police recover eight missing children.
MoCHIP hosts approximately 25-35 events each year. Saturday’s event took place at Asbury United Methodist Church in Springfield.
Ginger Luke, a parent attending for the first time, says it is reassuring to have the information on hand.
“You hope you never have to use it, but it’s nice in case you ever have to…it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Luke said.
The process is fairly simple and can even be interesting for the child, as another participant explains:
“[My nephew] loves doing it and he likes knowing about it too.”
The MoCHIP program is a chance for parents to obtain some peace of mind about child safety, Collignon concludes.
“When a child does go missing and it’s your child, you want to be able to do everything you can to recover that child as quickly as possible. If this assists in doing that by being able to provide accurate information at times you aren’t stressed out, so much the better.”
The next Springfield area MOCHIP event will be at KY3’s “Safe and Sound Saturday” on April 18.