Wireless AMBER Alerts

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The news of a lost or missing child often sends waves of fear and worry throughout a community and the entire country. Local police departments, along with state law enforcement officers and the FBI are often in a race against time to locate missing or exploited children.

The AMBER alert system (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) was first used in 1997 when Dallas-Fort Worth area broadcasters worked with area police departments to inform the public about a missing child. The AMBER Alert program was taken to the national level in 2003 as part of the PROTECT Act. President Bush authorized the program to formalize the national government’s role in the AMBER Alert system. Under the Act the Department of Justice (DOJ) was tasked with coordinating the AMBER Alerts on a national level. Along with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Department of Justice coordinates and announces AMBER Alerts to local & nation media.

Until 2006 AMEBER Alerts have been announced via radio, television, electronic road signs, and online. On May 25, 2006, which is National Missing Children’s Day, the Wireless AMBER Alerts system was announced. The enhanced alert system allows wireless phone & PDA users to receive announcements about abducted children in their area, and aid law enforcement in the search.  According to WirelessAMBERAlerts.org,

“the first three hours after an abduction are the most critical in recovery efforts.  By signing up for Wireless AMBER Alerts you could play an integral role in the recovery of an abducted child.”

The below graphic is from www.WirelessAmberAlerts.org, and details how the system works.  You can visit their website to learn more and get more detailed information about the service.

How Wireless AMBER Alerts™ Are Sent

Additional Information About The AMBER Alert System:

  • https://www.wirelessamberalerts.org/index.jsp
  • http://www.amberalert.gov
  • http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/2010/OJJDP10039.htm

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