National AMBER Alert Awareness Day – January 13
In recognition of the AMBER Alert program’s success towards recovering abducted children, Texas will join the nation in observing the National AMBER Alert Awareness Day on January 13, 2012.
AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and murdered in Arlington, Texas, in 1996. Shortly after Amber Hagerman’s death, law enforcement and media representatives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area created the first AMBER Alert program, serving as a model plan nationwide for alerting the public regarding abducted children. Currently, every state in the U.S. has an AMBER Alert Plan, in addition to several countries around the world. January 13 marks the anniversary of Amber Hagerman’s abduction, and became the date selected by the U.S. Department of Justice for National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.
In August of 2002, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) implemented its statewide Texas AMBER Alert Network, complementing existing local AMBER Alert programs. Activation of the Texas AMBER Alert Network involves the dedicated resources of:
· Texas Department of Public Safety
· Office of the Governor
· National Weather Service
· Texas Department of Transportation
· Local, state and federal law enforcement
· Texas Association of Broadcasters
· Independent Bankers Association of Texas
· Texas Lottery Commission
· 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 75 AMBER Alerts. A total of 82 missing children were recovered safely. Note: Some alerts have involved more than one child.
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.
Members of the general public can also register to receive AMBER Alerts via text messages on their wireless telephones by visiting www.wirelessamberalerts.org. The wireless industry has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.missingkids.com) to provide this service.