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Origin of Amber Alerts

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I'm sure we all can admit that we have changed the channel on the television when those loud Amber Alerts float across the screen, but do we really know exactly what they're for or how they were created? It may hurt to know what you've been ignoring. The creation of Amber Alerts is rather interesting and as well as heartbreaking but first, let's get an idea of what the Amber Alert is for.

The amber alert is a notification system to law enforcement and the media about child abductions. The purpose of Amber alerts is to notify the public when a child has been abducted and is in danger. They use radio, television, freeway message boards and many other methods to inform the public in the search of a child and stopping the perpetrator. Their goals are to obviously recover each abducted child before they meet any type of physical harm. However, Amber Alerts are not appropriate in all cases. Each case has to meet the criteria before deciding if the case is worthy enough. Here are a few guidelines each state has to approve before the alert can be activated. The victim is in imminent danger of death of serious harm, the child is under 18 years of age, there is no evidence of foul play, and enough descriptive information to be able to recognize the child. If there is not enough evidence to send out the message, other investigation tools will be employed, such as tracking dogs, neighborhood watches, evidence collection and a check of the state sex offender registry. The Amber Alert is not intended to report runaways, missing persons, or lost children; resolve custody or visitation disputes or address school truancy problems. Although, the bad thing about taking the time to decide if the case calls for a special news bulletin is the time it takes. Statistics show parents wait an average of two hours before notifying the police their child is missing; however, other statistics show the 74% of children who were murdered by their abductors were killed within three hours.

You're probably wondering why these alerts are called Amber Alerts. The reason for this is that it is a tribute to a little girl who was abducted and later brutally murdered Her name was Amber Hagerrman and she was just nine years old when she was abducted in January of 1996 in Arlington, Texas. She was taken by a man while riding her bicycle. She screams as he pulls her off the bike. The neighbor ran out when she heard Amber scream and seen the man throw her into the front seat of his black pickup truck and drove off in high speed. The neighbor called the police and provided a description of the suspect and the vehicle but couldn't recall much else. The story went on the news and shocked and outraged the whole community. A concerned citizen even contacted the Dallas, Texas Radio Station and suggested the idea of putting the news of the abduction of Amber Hagerman out there to the public just like the weather advisories and they approved. They sent out the special alert for Amber Hagerman. They did find Amber, however, she was murdered and her throat had been cut. She was found in a drainage ditch four miles away and her kidnapping and murder remain unsolved. In response of the community's efforts and concerns



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