SHOUT OUT: Although no parent wants to think about it, large numbers of children are kidnapped or reported missing each year, making the child identification kits being provided next month by the fraternity of Freemasons in Westwood valuable tools.
Fingerprints, hair and saliva samples, dental impressions and DVD photos will be produced by members of Temple Lodge #173 in Westwood, with the assistance of volunteers and members of Fulton Friendship Lodge #102 in Park Ridge – at no charge to parents.
Westwood Elks Lodge #1562 is offering its building for the Sept. 7 Child Identification Protection event so that the Masons have plenty of room. The process doesn’t take very long, they said.
ChIP (Child Identification Protection Program)
WHEN: Noon-5 p.m., Sept. 7
WHERE: Westwood Elks, 505 Kinderkamack Rd.
“It is an invaluable resource to law enforcement in helping to locate and identify missing children and has been lauded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,” said Scott McNiff, a freemason and officer with the Westwood Police Department.
No information will be retained by the Freemasons or police, McNiff said.
“Everything is given to the parents on the spot,” he said.
The freemasons began offering the program after it became too cost-prohibitive for the NCMEC to do it nationally.
Now, what once was a 66% chance of identifying missing or murdered children has increased to 90%, the center says.
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