Missouri Lottery Defends Amber Alert Involvement
JEFFERSON CITY - Wednesday's AMBER Alert for a missing Poplar Bluff girl brought focus to the Missouri Lottery and its kiosk system as a distribution channel for Amber Alert information. One man called KOMU 8 News concerned that the kiosk said, "AMBER Alert...ask the clerk for more info." But the man said when he asked the clerk about it, the clerk didn't have any information.
Gary Gonder, COO of Missouri Lottery, said "It's a part of their training, absolutely," referring to how clerks who sell lottery tickets are trained to respond to Amber Alert messages on the computers. Gonder said the Missouri Lottery is partnered with the Missouri Department of Public Health to help inform the public of AMBER Alerts. With 5,000 lottery kiosks around the state, Gonder said the lottery uses scrolling messages on signs connected to the ticket terminal, displayed on game monitors, and printed on lottery tickets.
When an AMBER Alert is issued, the Missouri Lottery offices gets the information about the child, suspect, and any identifiers and sends it to signs and monitors for the public to read as they approach the counter.
Gonder said as clerks sign into the lottery system to issue a ticket, a message appears which they must read before they can access the system. Stores are required to train clerks on these systems and to look out for important messages about AMBER Alerts.