The CHIP initiative has been endorsed by Most Worshipful Emanuel J. Stanley Grand Master, and implemented by the Prince Hall Masons of Maryland. The child identification program is named in honor of the late Deputy Grand Master, Thomas H. Wise, Jr., and will enable us to positively affect the safety and security of the young people in the state of Maryland.
The MWPHGLMD-sponsored Thomas H. Wise, Jr. Child Identification Program (CHIP) is a charitable initiative to aid in the identification and recovery of missing children. The CHIP program, led by RW Antonio Sturgis, is staffed by volunteers from constituent lodges in collaboration with law enforcement professionals.
The CHIP initiative affords parents the opportunity to create a kit of identifying materials for their child, free of charge. The kit contains a fingerprint card, a physical description, a DVD of the child, a dental imprint, and a DNA sample. The purpose of the kit is to provide critical information to the public and to law enforcement in the event that a child goes missing. The program has been lauded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The DVD, besides capturing appearance and voice, includes questions tailored toward the child’s age group and can assist in finding children who might be missing for other reasons besides abduction.
The CHIP has been referenced by state and local law enforcement agencies as their model for establishing this service. The difference between our program and others is that municipal and law enforcement agencies typically place all data that is collected (including fingerprints) into a database.
The program operates with strict confidentiality, with all data on portable computers being removed from systems immediately after the DVD data has been written.