Once again, Niagara River Lodge No. 785 of F. & A. Masons is sponsoring a safety identification booth at the firehouse during Old Sanborn Days. The booth will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, and on Sunday, July 15, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
This program is not only for children, but open for all ages. This is a free service. To find out more about this program or how the Masons can benefit you or your organization, email [email protected].
The Masonic child ID program was started in 1991 by volunteers in the Queens district and then spread throughout the state. The original program consisted of a brief video interview of the child. It was believed that by showing the child in conversation and capturing the child's gait and mannerisms, law enforcement agencies would have an advantage in locating and identifying a missing child.
After consultation with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice system, the program was changed to provide an identification card or "DataCard." This system provided the parent with a plastic card containing information regarding the child, along with a digital photograph and a fingerprint.
Because of the aging population, the program grew to include student and senior identification cards.
With the advances of technology and the desire to produce a product that would better serve law enforcement agencies in the prompt location of missing children, the program migrated to its current form - the "EZ Child ID System." This system provides for a mini CD-ROM containing digital photographs, a complete set of digital fingerprints, and critical information about the subject in a universal format, while still allowing for the production of identifications cards. As well the name has changed from NYCHIP-NYMSIP to the current name of MSID in reference to the program changes.
The mission of the MSID program is to:
•Provide a vital community service;
•Aid in the safe recovery of a lost or missing child;
•Aid in the safe recovery of a lost senior citizen;
•Encourage Masons to become involved in their communities;
•Promote a positive image of Masonry in the communities; and
•Broaden public awareness and recognition of Masonry.
The safety ID kit includes a paper printout of basic information, a laminated ID, and all pertinent information burned onto a mini CD-ROM. The CD-ROM also contains other safety information and a coloring book that can be printed out from it. All of this is given to the parents and/or guardian, and then all of the records are automatically erased.
Organizers are not allowed to keep any information whatsoever, except a count of participants served. All computers are dumped at the end of the day.