Amber alert system continues to improve
COLUMBIA -- In 1996, 9 year-old Amber Hagerman was riding her bike in a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb when she was kidnapped, and then murdered. Since then, America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, or AMBER alert has helped successfully recover more than 700 children nationwide.
The AMBER alert system is a nationwide partnership between law enforcement, each state's department of transportation, broadcast systems, and multiple cell phone providers to help get information to the public about the child, abductor and possible vehicle involved.
Since Missouri implemented the AMBER alert system in 2003, police have successfully recovered 63 children.
Officials from the Missouri State Highway Patrol say the most important factors in successful AMBER alerts is to get as many people looking out for the descriptions of those involved.
When receving information about an AMBER alert, Highway Patrol officials then alert both the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Intergrated Public Alert and Warning System in order to release the information to as many outlets as possible.
A new enhancement to the AMBER alert system this year involves Facebook alerts. The social media site notifies users in the area by putting the alert at the top of their news feed.
This is just another advancement officials say can help make more people aware of abduction situations, and provide police with tips that will allow them to move more quickly.