Friday, February 26, 2010

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

MasoniChip International (our KidsID) has become a partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As a new board member of MasoniChip, I was invited to tour the NCMEC headquarters in Alexandria Virginia. It was a great experience.
We were shown the corporations that have contributed much time, money and equipment to make the NCMEC an effective tool for child safety education (See the Take 25 Program) as well as finding and returning missing children.
We visited the call center, staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with trained professionals to receive reports of missing children as well as tips that have been used to find missing children.

The first photo shows a wall of children who have been recovered with the assistance of NCMEC.

Much of our time was spent at the forensic laboratory where photographs of missing children are "aged" to show how they would likely look at their current age. The forensic artists attempt to obtain photos of both parents at about the current age of the child and then meticulously manage the photo until a likely current age representation is achieved. One photo shows the two-year old that went missing, his father's photo, the composite aged photo and the child's actual photo (below) when he was found.

The other composite is not so happy. A skull was found in the desert. The drawing of the female was the first attempt by local authorities to present what the child probably looked like. The second photo from the left shows the composite made by the NCMEC, and the far left photo shows the child about the time he went missing.

Masons should be very proud of the role we play in educating children to be safe, and providing parents and law enforcement with the information they need - quickly and accurately - to assist in the recovery of missing children.