Local children signed up for identification program

Published 8:28 am Tuesday, April 3, 2018

WEST POINT LAKE — On Saturday, several dozen children from the east Alabama-west Georgia region were signed up for a child identification program that was being provided through the Grand Lodge of Alabama.

Masons from Lodge No. 516, Valley, and No. 656, Lanett, were at Rocky Point Park talking about the program to parents and getting their children signed up.

The Grand Lodge of Alabama Child Identification Program is one of the most comprehensive child recovery identification and abduction awareness programs offered to parents in Alabama.

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District 4 representative Jay Hall explained that child ID kits are given away at no charge to families that register for the program.

“The mission of this program is to provide parents with the knowledge and tools to ensure their children’s safety,” Hall said. “The program also raises public awareness about the risk of abduction or exploitation faced by children in today’s world.”

The signing up process takes around 10 minutes. Data is recorded on a CD that is given to the parents for safe keeping.

“All information is confidential,” Hall said. “Privacy is our number one concern.”

Each CD includes full color digital photographs utilizing an array of poses. These can be invaluable to police and media in cases of abduction. It will be made available to the Amber Alert program as well.

The CD has a complete set of the child’s fingerprints along with information about facial features and other distinguishing characteristics such as hair and eye color. There’s also contact information for parents and guardians.

Parents should act immediately in the event their child is missing from home.

The first step is to make a thorough search of the house. Look in closets, under piles of laundry and under beds. If you do this and cannot locate your child, contact law enforcement immediately.

Should your child disappear in a store, notify the store manager or the store’s security personnel. Then contact law enforcement.

Parents who were getting free ID kits on Saturday were told that in the event their child came up missing to immediately inform the police and explain to them that they had been identified in an Alabama Child Identification Program event.

“The tools that you received in your child’s kit will provide law enforcement with digital pictures and information that is compatible with the Amber Alert Program,” Hall said. “Tell law enforcement when you noticed that your child was missing and what they were wearing at the time. Ask that your child’s name and identification information entered into the National Crime Information Center missing person file.”

Since 2004, Freemasons throughout the U.S. have sponsored Child Identification Program events in order to educate parents and promote child safety.