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Help Save Lives - Get AMBER Alerts on Your Cell Phone

Published Jul 7th 2008, 2:43pm by Patty Streeter in Featured Articles

Wirelessamber AMBER Alerts were recently issued in Connecticut, Texas, and Georgia urging residents to be on the lookout for abducted children and their abductors. Many of us wonder if there’s really anything we can do to help.

I don’t know about you, but I start watching the vehicles around me a little closer when I see an AMBER Alert on the freeway signs near my home. But you can get information even when you’re not near a TV, radio, or freeway sign. How? On your cell phone via text message.

Anyone with wireless phones capable of receiving text messages (if their carrier participates in the program) can opt to receive free AMBER Alerts by going to wirelessamberalerts.org. You can also subscribe by texting AMBER plus your 5-digit ZIP code to 26237. For example, Beverly Hills residents would text “AMBER 90210” to 26237. It’s that easy!

Ap_wireless_amber_alerts_van AMBER stands for "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response" and was created in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to find abducted children. The AMBER Alert Program was soon adopted across the nation and is a legacy to Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then murdered. All 50 states have since established AMBER Alert programs. More than 390 children have been found as a result of the AMBER Alert network.

President Bush authorized the national AMBER Alert program as part of the PROTECT Act signed in 2003. The wireless industry has officially partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to make free Wireless AMBER Alerts available to cell phone subscribers.

When a child is kidnapped, time is of the essence. Your participation will add critical eyes and ears to the search. Please think about joining. The text messages are free.

Becky_headshot By Becky Scott
Contributing Editor

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