AMBER Alert not impacted by shutdown
Though there are many programs impacted by the government shutdown, the AMBER Alert program has not been impacted. The critical work of this unique program continues.
Inspired by tragedy and created in 1996, the AMBER Alert program has become a story of success. There have been 656 children safely recovered because of this program.
The U.S. Department of Justice coordinates the program nationally, but in many ways, it is a local initiative. There is a network of local AMBER Alert plans that each manages the distribution of alerts within their geographic area.
These local networks cover all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The decision to issue an AMBER Alert is made by local law enforcement based on their investigation and the guidelines of their AMBER Alert Plan. Law enforcement dictates the area and the content of the alert. It is then broadcast through radio, television and road signs.
The alert is also sent to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. At the request of the Department of Justice, we redistribute the alerts to a group of companies and organizations. They expand the reach of AMBER Alerts by placing them in airports, at gas stations, in hotels, on billboards, on the Internet and on wireless devices.
The AMBER Alert Program is named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas. In the wake of her death, local residents wanted to find a way to quickly engage the community in the search for an abducted child.
For more information about the AMBER Alert program visit http://www.missingkids.com/AMBER.