The AMBER Alert System, created in 1996, is used throughout the country to inform the public of child abduction incidents and increase the likelihood that the victim will be rescued quickly and safety.
On Monday, the California Highway Patrol, which coordinates the program statewide, and the U.S. Department of Justice will observe National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.
Created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, TX, the emergency response program was started as a partnership between Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters and local police. The acronym stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The system has been adopted across the nation.
Since its California debut in July 2002, the state's AMBER Alert system has been activated in 218 times, resulting in the rescue or safe finding of 255 children.
“The public has been essential to the success of California’s AMBER Alert system,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Working together with law enforcement, broadcasters, and other government agencies has proven successful in saving the lives of hundreds of children in California for more than a decade.”
This year, the system was expanded in the state to be activated if a child has been taken by anyone, regardless if an actual abduction is involved, and it is believed that the child is in threat of serious bodily injury or death, Farrow said.
“An AMBER Alert is a call to action,” Farrow said. “Not only is law enforcement engaged in the safe recovery of the child, but there are thousands of other eyes and ears aiding in that search.”
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