DPS Marks Amber Alert Awareness Day - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/11/08

DPS Marks Amber Alert Awareness Day

This Sunday is National Amber Alert Awareness Day. The day, named by the U.S. Department of Justice, is meant to remind Americans that Amber Alerts are an important tool in recovering children who have been abducted.

Members of the general public can sign up to receive Amber Alerts via text messages on their wireless telephones. To sign up, (click here).

The wireless industry has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to provide this service.

The Amber Alert system was used successfully for several years in the Dallas/Fort Worth area before a state plan went into effect in August 2002. The state plan is meant to complement, not replace, local and regional plans.

Activation of the Texas Amber Alert Network is a massive cooperative effort involving:

  • Texas Department of Public Safety;
  • Office of the Governor;
  • National Weather Service;
  • Texas Department of Transportation;
  • Local, state and federal law enforcement;
  • Media;
  • Texas Association of Broadcasters;
  • Independent Bankers Association of Texas;
  • Texas Lottery Commission;
  • BeyondMissing.com.
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was added as a state partner in 2005, providing notification to the public through wireless carriers, content providers and major retailers.

Since the Texas Amber Alert Network's creation in 2002, DPS has issued 35 state-involved Amber Alerts, and 38 children who were featured in Amber Alerts have been safely recovered. The vast majority of requests made by local police agencies for state-involved Amber Alerts are declined because they do not meet the state criteria.

The criteria to issue an alert involving State of Texas assets:

  • The abducted child must be 17 years of age or younger.
  • The local law enforcement agency must believe that the child has been abducted, that is, unwillingly taken from their environment without permission from the child's parent or legal guardian or by the child's parent or legal guardian who commits an act of murder or attempted murder during the time of the abduction.
  • The local law enforcement agency confirms that an investigation has taken place that verifies the abduction of the child and has eliminated alternative explanations for the missing child.
  • The child is believed to be in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
  • There is sufficient information available to give to the public about the child, the abductor or the suspect's vehicle.

If your child is missing:

  • Immediately call your local law enforcement agency to file a missing persons report.
  • Be prepared to provide law enforcement with the most recent photo of the child, a detailed description of what the child was wearing and any other information that could help identify the child or the abductor, such as vehicle and license plate information.

Federal public service announcements regarding the Amber Alert program can be found on the U.S. Department of Justice website, (click here)

Texas Amber Alert Updates
Read more about missing children in the state of Texas. Also learn more about what you can teach your children about abductions.

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