PARKVILLE, Mo. -- If your child goes missing, providing police with the right information is critical for a safe return.
In a panic, gathering that info can take what seems like forever. One group made a stop in Parkville on Saturday, promising to speed up the process.
Each year an estimated 700,000 children go missing, and sadly many are never heard from again.
"You'll see a rise of parents bringing their kids in after and Amber Alert goes out or after the media puts out that some child has been found safe," said Brent Hunt with the Missouri Masonic Children's Foundation.
The first three hours after a child goes missing, is the most crucial for a safe return. It can take a panicked parent up to two hours to gather vital information about their missing child. That is why the Masonic Children's Foundation of Missouri hosts events like the one held on Saturday, through ‘CHIP’ or the Child Identification Program. Each parent who participates gets a packet, which includes a CD.
“With this CD and the information that's imprinted on it, an Amber alert can be produced in about one minute,” said Hunt. "Dental impressions, DNA from the cheeks and a scent for a canine trained to recognize human scent.
Parents also get two laminated ID cards.
It's a welcome resource for parents who hope to never experience that gut-wrenching feeling of not knowing where their kids are.
"If your child is missing it's easy to panic and everything’s in one spot," said mother Misty Griggs.
"I’ve got five grandchildren they're all small. They're all small. They’re all outside playing and we live by the woods and stuff like that so I'm always kind of cautious about them being outside,” said grandmother of five, Faw Lee.
The service is absolutely free. If you missed Saturday’s event, you're welcomed to try again at the next MO-CHIP event.
CLICK HERE to find out more information about the Missouri Child Identification Program, and when the next MO-CHIP event will take place.