SWARTZ CREEK (WJRT) - (06/02/2019) - This afternoon Swartz Creek Masonic Lodge offered families all the vital information to help speed up efforts in case their child ever went missing.
The group provides the Michigan Child I.D. program each year at the Swartz Creek Hometown Days.
And this year Rebecca Karstens brought her seven-month-old grandson, Kolt, to have his first profile made.
"If he happens to be unfortunately kidnapped or anything I think it gives the police a head start,” said Karstens. “They'll know what he looks like and have his DNA."
Dozens of other parents and guardians came out Sunday afternoon.
"I think it's a great idea,” said Karstens. “We had it done for his dad and his uncle back when they were young and it's something we still have in our safe."
Swartz Creek Masonic Lodge #458 provides the Michigan Child ID every year, with no cost at all. Mark Gonyea, chairman of the program, said it’s evolved over the years.
"When it first started out it was a little bit simpler. We didn't have the DNA, all the information was kept on a CD," said Gonyea. "And it's helped find them quicker too because like I said before a lot of the information is ready, it's on hand for the police to have.
The program only takes about 10 minutes to complete and provides parents with many different things like electronic fingerprints, DNA, dental impressions, photo ID cards, recorded interviews to capture speech and mannerisms, saliva for dog scents, as well as an Amber Alert Profile.
"It's so important, there are so many kids going missing now a day," said Kelley Karstens who brought her two granddaughters along. “It's something that no one else will have access to. It's in your possession, their DNA and their fingerprint."
All information collected goes directly to the parents or guardians - none of it is kept by the masons for privacy. And it's something you should be updating regularly.
"They suggest every parent have their child go through the program at least every 2-3 years," said Gonyea.
If you'd like to find out more information about the Michigan Child ID program click on the link attached to this page.