Austin, Tx — The State of Texas will join the nation in observing National AMBER Alert Awareness Day on January 13, 2013. AMBER stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response,” and was named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and murdered in Arlington, Texas, in 1996.
Shortly after Amber Hagerman’s death, law enforcement and media representatives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area created the first AMBER Alert program, serving as a model plan nationwide for alerting the public regarding abducted children. Currently, every state in the U.S. has an AMBER Alert Plan, in addition to several countries around the world. January 13 marks the 17-year anniversary of Amber Hagerman’s abduction, which the U.S. Department of Justice has designated as National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.
The Texas AMBER Alert Program was established by Gov. Rick Perry in August of 2002, complementing existing local AMBER Alert programs. DPS manages the statewide program and provides law enforcement a mechanism for rapid notification of the media and the public in these serious child abduction cases.
From 2002 through the end of 2012, 93 children have been recovered during 87 DPS activations of the Texas AMBER Alert Program. (Some alerts have involved more than one child.) Activation of the Texas AMBER Alert Network involves resources from the following groups:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Office of the Governor
National Weather Service
Texas Department of Transportation
Local, state and federal law enforcement
Texas Association of Broadcasters
Independent Bankers Association of Texas
Texas Lottery Commission
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which was added as a state partner in 2005, providing notification to the public through wireless carriers, content providers and major retailers.
If your child is missing:
Immediately call your local law enforcement agency to file a missing persons report.
Be prepared to provide law enforcement with the most recent photo of the child, a detailed description of what the child was wearing and any other information that could help identify the child or the abductor, such as vehicle and license plate information.