2002-10-19 / Community

Smith Applauds Implementation Of Amber Alert System

Smith Applauds Implementation
Of Amber Alert System

Saying that "no worthwhile effort should be spared in locating an abducted child," State Senator Ada L. Smith (D/L- Brooklyn/Queens) praised the statewide launching of the Amber Alert Plan, which will quickly disseminate crucial information to the public and law enforcement agencies following the abduction of a child.

This system, named in honor of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then brutally murdered, is modeled on the program begun after her abduction and murder there. Local residents contacted radio stations and suggested special "alerts" be broadcast over the airwaves so that such incidents in the future might be prevented. Local law enforcement agencies then teamed up with area broadcasters and formed the model for this innovative early warning system to help find abducted children.

"As we have seen from past experience, every second counts in the effort to find a missing child," Senator Smith said. "The implementation of the Amber Alert Plan will help ensure that not a precious moment is wasted in getting the word out to the general public and local law enforcement agencies about locating the whereabouts of an abducted child."

The Amber Alert will be broadcast through the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which is continuously monitored by broadcasters. The emergency message will briefly interrupt regular programming and then repeat at scheduled intervals. Every radio and television station in the state is participating in the broadcasting of the alerts, and law enforcement personnel in every county in New York have completed training on how to participate in the Amber Alert.

Furthermore, the Amber Alert Program has been broadened with the additional posting of the emergency information on highway signs, state lottery message boards, at tollbooths and as part of highway travel advisories.

"With its use of the combined resources of law enforcement, broadcast media, the general public and other government agencies, the Amber Alert System utilizes every conceivable avenue available in hopes of saving a child's life," Senator Smith said. "As we have seen just recently, this alert plan has proven its effectiveness in Texas and other states who have adopted it. I am confident that this program will serve as an invaluable tool in safeguarding our children. After all, their safety and well-being must always remain our utmost concern."

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