Masons, Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee team up on “chip” program

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Masons and the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee teamed up Sunday to help keep local children safe.

The Masons brought the “MasoniChip Ontario” program to the Libro Centre, an identification program that can help locate a missing child quicker. Jim McDonald, chair of the Masons’ “Chip” program in Essex County, said the partnership with the Amherstburg Community Based Policing committee helped as they were able to have more volunteers than they usually do.

Matthew Conte from the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee gets a dental impression from four-year-old Quinn Morencie during a “chip” program run in conjunction with the Masons Sunday at the Libro Centre.

Matthew Conte from the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee gets a dental impression from four-year-old Quinn Morencie during a “chip” program run in conjunction with the Masons Sunday at the Libro Centre.

Simply known as the “chip program,” McDonald said there is no actual chip implanted, but rather it is a compilation of facts about a child that are put onto a disc and in writing for use by the parents should the child go missing. Volunteers collected height, weight, fingerprints, voice recognition, photos, teeth impression and a DNA sample through a cheek swap and put all of that data onto a CD for the parents.

“Our main thing is to get these things onto the disc,” said McDonald. “If somehow a child goes missing, the disc can go to the police and an amber alert can be issued quicker.”

The Masons fundraise across Ontario for the program but it is free to the parents. Turnout was light early on for Sunday’s event, but more children went in closer to the start of Skate Amherstburg’s ice show, which was also held at the Libro Centre Sunday afternoon.

Teaghan Lafromboise presses a button in order to give an electronic version of her fingerprints. She was one of the children that participated in the MasoniChip program run by Masons and the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee Sunday.

Teaghan Lafromboise presses a button in order to give an electronic version of her fingerprints. She was one of the children that participated in the MasoniChip program run by Masons and the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee Sunday.

Data collected was given to the parents and then wiped out from the computers brought by the Masons, said McDonald. The data gathered is not in the public domain with the computers not connected to the Internet so that privacy is protected.

Tinnisha Morencie brought her daughter Quinn and believed it was a worthwhile program.

“You never know what can happen,” she said.

Brannon Beaudoin, a member of the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee, said they believe it was key to get involved as it helps parents if they have to go to the police to report a missing child.

“We feel it’s very important for parents to get involved with this,” Beaudoin.

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