Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2013

LCC Elem. students take part in CHIP

LAUREL — Elementary students took part in the Child Identification Program (CHIP) at the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge School last week.

With CHIP, vital data of the child is collected and placed on a DVD and given to the parents. The information could be used if the child is ever lost or missing.

The data on the DVD can be scanned into a national criminal database which assists law enforcement in a variety of ways.

This is the sixth year for the Child Identification Program to be implemented at the school in Laurel according to Laurel Police Chief Ryan Van Cleave.

“We do it for any new students, along with the students in kindergarten and fourth grade. We re-do it for fourth grade as the kids can change a lot between those two grades,” Van Cleave said. “The first year, in 2008, we did the whole elementary and it was a two-day process.”

The program includes documenting the parent/guardians’ names, child’s name and address, date of birth and physical description of the child.

A DVD will be sent to the students that includes a brief interview, digital photographs, digital fingerprints, dental imprints, and cheeks swabs which provide DNA of the child. When frozen, the DNA can last for up to 30 years.

Materials and instructions are sent home for at-home generation of scent pads which could be used for canine and rescue.

“We interview the kids and ask them some personal questions. Photos are taken with the student holding up a paper with his name on it. The child bites down on a mouth piece for the dental imprints,” Van Cleave said. “The patch is done at home. The pads can be used for a dog to pick up the scent of the child.”

The DVD is given to the parents for safekeeping. No copies are kept on file.

If case of an emergency the information can be presented to responding law enforcement agencies for immediate broadcast to Amber Alert and other agencies.

CHIP is offered to the parents at no cost. The program is sponsored by the local Masonic Lodge.

“Several area people helped out this year, which was great,” Van Cleave said.

Volunteers that assisted Van Cleave with the CHIP program included Cedar County Deputy Chad Klaussen; Susie Koranda, EMT; Melissa Graham, EMT; elementary parent Lisa Karnes and Luke Virgil.