South Dakota Child Identification Program (SDCHIP)
On average in the United States, a child is reported missing every 43 seconds!
Most parents don’t have the proper items ready at a moment’s notice that may help save their child’s life. The Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of South Dakota SDCHIP kit provides those kits to parents at no cost.
History of CHIP
CHIP is offered by Masons in 20 states. The program began in New York in 1994. It provided a videotaped interview giving far more information than other identification programs utilizing a single photo. Fingerprinting was also included. In 1998 Dr. David Harte, a Massachusetts Mason, brought Toothprints®, a technique developed by Dr. David Tcsini, a Massachusetts children’s dentist, to CHIP. Its addition made CHIP the most thorough child identification program available. Accordingly, to provide the licensed personnel needed to administer Toothprints® and the DNA cheek swabs, the Freemasons in states offering the program joined with their statewide dental associations. Fingerprinting, likewise, is best done by trained personnel. State law enforcement agencies have also been brought in as partners in SDCHIP. These dedicated officers provide expertise in fingerprinting and practical experience so important in making SDCHIP more effective.
The South Dakota Child Identification Program, or SDCHIP, is sponsored by the South Dakota Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and uses a defined “Masonic Model” called COMPREHENSIVE SDCHIP. It is currently in operation by Masonic jurisdictions in twenty states and continues to be adopted by Masons across North America. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) recognizes COMPREHENSlVE MASONIC SDCHIP as one of the most complete child recovery and identification programs in the nation. In 1999 alone, over 797,500 children were reported missing in the United States.
At a Masonic SDCHIP Event, Masons generate individual completed child idcutificatiou kits that arc given to the parent or guardian to take home for safekeeping (we keep nothing but a permission form). Each child progresses through the various stations of Ihe event (it takes about 10-15 minutes) generating an identifying item at each station to be placed in his or her kit. Parents are reminded to take the packages on trips and vacations. This completed kit can be immediately provided to authorities to aid in the recovery of a missing child.
Masons have developed the tools, management skills, and . volunteer network necessary to make SDCHIP one of the most comprehensive child recovery and identification programs in the nation. The equipment they have purchased allows several staions to be conducted simultaneously during the SDCHIP event with the goal of giving every family in attendance a SDCHIP package. Refinements to the program will include more up-to-date systems and more effective tools for law enforcement agencies.
SDCHIP is reaching out to every community. Events will be held in schools, shopping malls, county fairs, and at Masonic Centers. SDCHIP events increase abduction awareness that, if properly publicized, discourage would-be predators from considering that community.
Toothprint® Dental Impressions
Teeth, like fingerprints, are unique. A dental imprint gives accurate information for identification purposes.
DNA Cheek Swab
Cheek cells in saliva provide DNA,which can uniquely identify anyone.
Digital Still Photo
Amber Alert is in operation throughout South Dakota. The color photo can be circulated by police to media throughout the state within two hours of an abduction.
Fingerprints are a well known tool for recovery investigation and identification. Every person’s prints are unique.
A brief videotaped interview is invaluable to an investigator. The SDCHIP interview captures the appearance, speech, mannerisms, and important personal characteristics of a child. It can be quickly distributed via the media to reach a huge audience. It is the cornerstone of South Dakota’s Child Identification Program.
No Charge to Parents
SDCHIP is provided free of charge to the public. All of the identifying items generated during the event are given to the child’s family.
Download the SDCHIP Manual
The objective of the South Dakota Dental Association is to encourage improvement of the health of the public and to promote the art and science of dentistry. Local dental professionals, who are members of the South Dakota Dental Association, will take the Toothprints® Dental Impressions and DNA cheek swab portions of the kit on children during SDCHIP events.
The South Dakota Sheriffs Association is a non-profit, membership-driven organization comprising law enforcement officers, associates of law enforcement and concerned citizens across the state. Its primary goal is training and providing law enforcement groups programs to promote public relations and involvement. It works together with all law enforcement agencies to enhance technology, information and provide the highest quality of protection to the citizens of South Dakota. It fully supports the SDCHIP program as an excellent tool in the protection of the youth of South Dakota, and will provide personnel to administer the fingerprinting portion of SDCHIP events.