Event Helps Protect Children

1 decade 3 years 2 months ago Sunday, May 20 2007 May 20, 2007 Sunday, May 20, 2007 10:03:47 PM CDT May 20, 2007 in News

Children visited booths and even made spaghetti art at the carnival, but their parents had another reason for coming- to take precautions in case their child is abducted or lost.

"I think every parent has a fear of losing their child. And of course we would never want that to happen. One of the best things we can do is to provide parents with an I.D. kit that they can use in the event that their child is lost or god forbid abducted," said Micca Ruffin, early childhood education.

The Reed family waited in line for 45 minutes so that Patricia and Autumn could get their I.D. packets.

"I'm a paranoid person about that stuff, I'm scared to death, so yeah, it makes you feel a lot better to have it," said Sheila Reed, parent.

The family went from station to station, providing emergency contact information, getting digital fingerprints and finally the child I.D. packet. Parents take home a mini CD with their child's photograph, fingerprints, dental impressions and emergency contacts. They also get laminated I.D. cards.

"The CD is Amber Alert compatible. It can be taken to law enforcement...It can taken to a highway patrol officer sitting on the side of the road and he can upload that into his Amber Alert software from his squad car and it can be disseminated throughout the nation in the form of an Amber Alert within 42 seconds," said Doug Jokerst, Masonic Children's Foundation.

MOCHIP does not keep any information about the children after the event. Parents take the packet home and if their child goes missing, they're ready with the information that law enforcement needs. Since the program started in 2005, MOCHIP has identified 25,000 children in Missouri.The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says almost 800,000 children are reported missing in the U.S. each year- that's more than 2,000 each day.

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