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News News
AMBER Alert Awareness Day
Article By: by Texas State Rep. Larry Phillips
Posted: 1/13/2014 Views: 1717  Impressions: 7475
Categories: Politics, Social Services: Social Issues



Monday, January 13, is National AMBER Alert Awareness Day. The AMBER Alert program is a nationwide system of alerts in response to the abduction of a child. AMBER stands for "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response," and was named for of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1996 in Arlington, Texas. In response to Amber Hagerman's death, law enforcement and media representatives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area created the first AMBER Alert program, which has served as a model nationwide for alerting the public about abducted children.
Every state now has an AMBER Alert program, as do several other countries. Although the programs are managed individually by each state, the criteria for issuing an AMBER Alert are as follows: there is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred; the law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death; there is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to assist in the recovery of the child; and the abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) manages the AMBER Alert program in Texas.
From 2002 through the end of 2013, 124 children have been recovered during 109 DPS activations of the Texas AMBER Alert Program. Activation of the Texas AMBER Alert Network involves resources from local, state, and federal resources, including the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Office of the Governor; the National Weather Service; the Texas Department of Transportation; the Texas Association of Broadcasters; the Independent Bankers Association of Texas; the Texas Lottery Commission, and the the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
DPS currently offers an email notification system that distributes AMBER Alert information. Anyone wishing to become a subscriber can register online with a valid email address and zip code at www.dps.texas.gov/dem/amberalert/amberregister.aspx.
For more information regarding the AMBER Alert Program or any matter of state government, please contact my office by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by emailing me at larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us. My district office phone number is (903) 891-7297.




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