Georgia CHIP Program is a very good thing

Published 7:57 am Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No parent ever wants to hear that their child has gone missing or has been abducted. But thanks to the support of the Freemasons of Georgia, including our own local Orion Lodge No. 8, a program is giving parents the tools they need in case of a worst-case emergency.

The Georgia Child Identification Program (CHIP) visits local schools and meets with as many children as possible, documenting their identification information, such as fingerprints, names and addresses, and even a DNA sample. That information is then given back to the child to return to the parents, giving those parents a CD with all the data. In an emergency, those parents can then quickly give police or law enforcement the CD, and those officers will then have a detailed description of the child. That information can also be quickly sent to the National Amber Alert System, allowing for even more exhaustive search capabilities.

This past Tuesday, local Masons and other volunteers provided the free service to the county’s seventh graders, and they will again offer it to high schoolers on March 15. It is wonderful to see a local group volunteer its time and money to help protect children. You certainly hope that no parent ever has to use the information in an emergency, but if just one child’s life is saved, the program is infinitely worth it.

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