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National AMBER Alert Awareness Day is Today, Bringing Awareness to Missing and Abducted Children

AMBER-ALERT-LOGOJan. 13, 2013. Today, Jan. 13, communities across the country will gather to observe National AMBER Alert Awareness Day — a day memorialized in honor of Amber Hagerman, whose tragic kidnapping and murder led to the establishment of a national America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert Program by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). 

On this day, DOJ and participating AMBER Alert programs across the country recognize the collaborative efforts of law enforcement and their communities to safely recover missing children. Upon receiving a missing child report, the AMBER program issues an urgent bulletin, which includes a description of the abducted child and the suspected abductor. To date, more than 595 children nationwide have been successfully recovered as a result of the AMBER Alert Program.  North Carolina has a 100% recovery or locate rate within their AMBER Alert program since its inception in 2002.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will be highlighting their new Wireless program this year on AMBER Alert Awareness Day. 

On Dec. 14, 2012, CTIA-The Wireless Association®, The Wireless Foundation™, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Syniverse announced that on Dec. 31, 2012, the Wireless AMBER Alerts™ program will end operations, as part of the nation’s transition to the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program. That means that millions of cellphone users across the country will now receive free, automatic notifications about abducted children in their area as part of the WEA program. Consumers with WEA-capable smart phones and feature phones and services are automatically enrolled to receive AMBER Alerts for free, along with Presidential and Imminent Threat Alerts.  This is an opt “OUT” not an opt “IN” program.

On the AMBER Alert Awareness Day, we encourage you to learn more about North Carolina’s AMBER Alert criteria plans or the new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system by visiting www.ncdps.gov or contact Ms. Nona Best, NC Center for Missing Persons supervisor, at (919) 436-3094.