By: Kara Duffy
September 10, 2013
Decatur County, GA - It wasn't your typical 'Picture Day' at Elcan-King Elementary School Tuesday.
These second graders were posing for the CHIP program; a collection of information burned onto a DVD that parents can hold onto in case of an emergency.
"If by chance that child were to go missing, they can give that information to law enforcement and immediately we can have the information at hand to be looking for that child," said Joe Battles, the Orion Lodge CHIP Chairman.
The whole process only takes a couple of minutes. Parents just have to fill out a form and answer some basic questions like, the child's birth date, if they have any birthmarks or go by any special nicknames.
Then a group of trained professionals come in and take it from there.
Students are measured and weighed. Then, their DNA is collected.
"It gets their picture, their finger prints, their voice," Battles said.
Decatur County Sheriff's Deputies then ask the kids a series of simple questions, such as their favorite place to play and the name of their best friend. They videotape the conversation.
"They can get a child recognized somewhat by the picture, but they'll know the voice and mannerisms of the child as well."
In just a few minutes, the DVD is complete and an identification card is printed for parents.
"It's a community project provided by the Monsonic Lodges of Georgia. It doesn't cost a thing at all. So it's really foolish not to prepare your child," said Irvin Horne, the Director of the Masonic District 2.
The Mosonic Lodge and the Decatur County Sheriff's Office will be offering the CHIP program for free at the Decatur County Festival and Fair, held in Decatur County November 5-9.