In recognition of this important day, the wireless industry and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) join the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in recognizing the success of the AMBER Alert program and reminding citizens of the vital role they can play to aid in the recovery of abducted children by registering to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts™.
“AMBER Alert Awareness Day is an important reminder for all of us to renew our efforts in making child protection a national priority,” said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association® and President of The Wireless Foundation. “I commend Attorney General Gonzales and the Department of Justice for their steadfast commitment to keeping America’s children safe through the AMBER Alert program. Now, thanks to innovative wireless technology, we can all participate in the search and rescue of an abducted child by signing up to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts™—free text messages notifying folks of the emergency situation wherever they are.”
AMBER stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response” and was created in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to find abducted children. The AMBER Alert program was soon adopted across the nation and is a legacy to Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then murdered. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have since established AMBER Alert programs.
President Bush authorized the national AMBER Alert initiative as part of the PROTECT Act signed in 2003. The law formally established the federal government’s role in the AMBER Alert program, appointing DOJ as the agency responsible for coordinating local, regional, and statewide AMBER Alert programs on the national level. The wireless industry has officially partnered with DOJ and NCMEC to make free Wireless AMBER Alerts available to cell phone subscribers.
“AMBER Alert has become widely recognized because of the hard work and dedication of so many,” said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Program and the National AMBER Alert Coordinator. “When people receive Wireless AMBER Alerts on their cell phones, there will be an entire community bent on bringing a child home safely.”
Any wireless subscriber capable of receiving text messages, and whose wireless carrier participates in the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative, may opt in to receive Alerts by completing a simple registration process at www.wirelessamberalerts.org or their wireless carrier’s website.
“Amber’s legacy lives on through the lives of the 311 children the program has saved,” said Ernie Allen, NCMEC President and CEO. “Wireless AMBER Alerts is a major contribution to the AMBER Alert program, and will help to continue to save the lives of abducted children.”
Many of the wireless carriers participating in the Wireless AMBER Alerts™ initiative are taking action in raising awareness this week through efforts such as: messaging in customer bills and newsletters, sending an internal memo to employees as a reminder to sign up, placing Wireless AMBER Alerts™ web banner on company website, mentioning the initiative at point of sale during the weekend, and issuing news releases to local markets.
Carriers observing AMBER Alert Awareness Day include:
Dobson Communications Corporation
Collectively, participating wireless carriers serve 93 percent of all
wireless customers in the United States.
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