Created in 1996, the AMBER Alert System is a legacy to Amber Hagerman, a nine-year-old girl who was kidnapped and murdered in Texas. While she was yet missing, local residents called radio stations in the Dallas area to offer their help. The active citizen involvement, though tragically unsuccessful in Amber’s case, led to the creation of broadcast alerts to help thwart child abductions across the nation.
Today, AMBER Alert is a partnership program involving law enforcement agencies, broadcasters and departments of transportation. Statistics show that most children who are kidnapped and later found murdered die within the first three hours of being taken. During an AMBER Alert, urgent news bulletins are broadcast over airwaves and posted to highway alert signs to enlist the aid of the public to find missing children and stop perpetrators in the all-important hours immediately following child abductions.
The AMBER Alert system is based on the same concept used to alert the public to a severe weather emergencies. During alerts, the Emergency Alert System (EAS), formerly called the Emergency Broadcast System, airs a description of the abducted child as well as his or her suspected abductor. The purpose is to instantly galvanize the entire community to search for and safely return abducted children. Studies show that when ordinary citizens become the eyes and ears of law enforcement, lives can be saved.
RJWestmore users can access the amber alert national map from their RJWestmore homepage:
- Under “Your Resources” click “More Emergency Info.”
- Open the “More Emergency Info” PDF and scroll down to the “Satellite Imagery” section.
- Click on “Global Incident Map” and select “Amber Alerts.”
So how can average citizens help?
- Be on the lookout for abducted children and suspects.
- If you spot a child, adult, or vehicle fitting an AMBER Alert description, call 911 immediately and provide authorities with as much information as possible.
- Each state or regional program has its own mechanism for relaying AMBER Alerts to the public. Check with the AMBER Alert coordinator in your local community to find out more about their procedures.
- For more information about the national AMBER Alert plan and to find the name of your state AMBER Alert coordinator, visit the Department of Justice website.
- Work with your local law enforcement agency to host a safety seminar at your school, church, community center, civic organization or neighborhood group.
- Pay close attention to missing-children flyers and notices.
- Keep current information and photos of your own children. Better safe than sorry.
- Report emergency situations or provide information about missing or exploited children, call 911 to notify local police, or call 800–THE–LOST (800–843–5678)
- Report information about child pornography, child molestation, child prostitution, or the online enticement of children, log on to the CyberTipLine.
- Find out more information about missing and exploited children by visiting the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
A Message from RJ the Firedog: When a child is missing, an AMBER Alert is issued and the surrounding area, even the nation, goes to work to locate the child and return him or her safely home. PetAmberAlert.com uses the same technology to help rapidly spread the word about lost dogs (and even cats, ugh!) or any other type of lost pet. We at RJWestmore, Inc. are in no way associated with PetAmberAlert. So we are not endorsing the product. Nevertheless, we do support the idea of retrieving missing animals and returning them to their rightful homes…including cats.
When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW RJWestmore Property Messaging System is included FREE for all RJWestmore Online Training System users. Visit www.RJWestmore.com for more information.