The Bridgeton Freemasons covered the cost of the event, allowing the HPD to offer free admission to the general public.
This was the second MoCHIP event hosted by the Hazelwood Police Department in 2010. The first one occurred in January at the LDS Church in Hazelwood where 213 children were processed. The MoCHIP organizers were impressed with the turnout and agreed to work with the HPD again on another one. This time around they surpassed their first event total by processing 250 kids.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to help give the families of 463 children a measure of protection against the ever-increasing problem of missing and abducted children with our department’s MoCHIP program,” said Sgt. Don Routh, N.A.T. Supervisor/Volunteer Coordinator. “Thanks to the active corporate citizens we have in our community such as the Bommarito Honda Superstore, who are willing to step up and support our efforts to host these types of public service events, we are making Hazelwood and the surrounding North County area a much safer place to raise a family.”
Since the program’s inception in 2005, MoCHIP has processed 109,179 at 682 events held throughout the state. Sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Masons in the state of Missouri and endorsed by the Conference of Grand Masters, the MoCHIP program (www.mochip.org) is a part of the National Masonichip network. It is considered the best of its kind in Missouri. Seven children who went through the MoCHIP process and ended up missing were successfully recovered due to using the collected information.
“Parents today are much better educated as to the risk involved for their children, and they’re looking for things like our MoCHIP event that they can do quickly and easily, and have something ready in case they need it,” noted Routh.
At the MoCHIP event, several stations were set up to record the children’s physical features, as well as snap digital photos and scan fingerprints. All this information was then burned onto a mini-CD disk, which can be uploaded to the Amber Alert system within a minute and a half. Other items such as two laminated ID cards, full dental impressions and other non-invasive DNA samples were put inside a sealed envelop, along with the CD, and given to each child’s parents. They also received instructions on what to do in the event of an emergency. This entire process usually takes less than 20 minutes.
While the children waited in line to be processed, they were greeted by the following mascot characters and Ronald McDonald who kept them entertained: St. Louis Cardinals’ Fredbird; St. Louis Rams’ Ram Page; River City Rascals’ Ruffy; McGruff the Crime Dog; Darren of the D.A.R.E. program; and Sparky the Fire Dog.
The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children encourages parents to be prepared by assembling their child’s photos and vital information ahead of time.
Other Event Photos