Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Amber Alerts now available on Twitter

TOPEKA, KAN. ––– Kansans can now look out for missing children by receiving Amber Alerts on Twitter, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

“When a child is missing, the public’s assistance is crucial to returning the child safely,” Schmidt said. “Social media provides us a new way to get information out quickly to the public in the event of an Amber Alert.”

A new Twitter account, @AMBERAlert, was launched this week in conjunction with National Amber Alert Awareness Day. The account, managed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, will provide information on all Amber Alerts issued nationwide.

The Kansas Amber Alert system is coordinated by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

When an alert is issued, the media are notified to begin broadcasting the details of the missing child and suspect. Kansans can also receive Amber Alerts on Facebook by liking the Kansas Amber Alert page at www.facebook.com/AmberAlertKS.

The Amber Alert program, named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, and transportation agencies to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to air a description of the abducted child and suspected abductor. The goal of an Amber Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.

Since its inception in 1996, this program has successfully brought 679 children home safely. In Kansas, 23 children have been safely returned since 2002.

In addition to the Amber Alert program, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children maintains a list of all missing children from Kansas. That database can be accessed at www.missingkids.com. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of any of these missing persons should contact a law enforcement agency or call 1-800-KS-CRIME.

For more information, visit www.ag.ks.gov/amber-alert.