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AMBER ALERT

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WHAT IS AN "AMBER ALERT"?

74% of children who were abducted and later found murdered were killed within three hours of being taken. Quick response is vital.

To help increase an abducted child's odds of safe recovery, an "Emergency Alert System" has been put in place. A statewide program was established on July 31,2002 and a nationwide Amber Alert program is currently being implemented.


HOW IT WORKS

  • Immediately after a child has been kidnapped and is considered endangered, law enforcement officers launch an Amber Alert by informing broadcast media of critical details, including a description of the suspect and his vehicle.

  • Radio and TV stations use the Emergency Alert System to interrupt their programming with the emergency information.

  • Changeable Message Signs are activated by Caltrans which give real-time information to motorists. The signs will only be activated for an incident which meets the Amber Alert guidelines.

  • As a result, millions of people can be on the lookout almost immediately for the kidnapper's vehicle and the child. Across the country, Amber Alert Plans are credited with helping safely recover 19 children.


AMBER ALERT GUIDELINES

  • An Amber Alert may be activated only by law enforcement agencies.
  • It is intended only for the most serious, time-critical child abduction cases.
  • It is not intended for cases involving runaways or parental adbuction, except in life-threatening situations.


WHY "AMBER"?

In 1996, 9-year old Amber Hagerman disappeared from her Arlington, Texas neighborhood while riding her bicycle. A neighbor was able to give some details of the car involved, but no system was in place to get that information to local residents quickly. Tragically, Amber's body was found four days later.

Hoping to prevent such tragedy from happening again, outraged area residents suggested that the media relay kidnapping information the same way severe weather warnings are issued: using emergency system broadcasts across numerous media outlets. Thus, the "Amber Alert Plan" was born.


HOW CAN I HELP?

  • If you witness a child abduction, contact your local law enforcement agency or call 911 immediately! Provide information on the location of the abduction and a description of the victim, the suspect and/or any vehicle involved.

  • If you hear an AMBER ALERT, watch for the child, suspect and vehicle described in the alert. Immediately report any sightings by calling 911 or the telephone number included with the alert. (Do not call 911 to request information about the abduction.)


WHAT SHOULD I TEACH MY CHILDREN?

  • Never get into anyone's car without your parents' permission.
  • Move away from a car that pulls up beside you if you don't know the driver.
  • Say, "No, thank you," if a stranger or someone else offers you candy or gifts.
  • Never answer the door if you are home alone.
  • Don't play in deserted buildings.

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