Date: Monday, January 13, 2014
Dover-Delaware is joining together with other states from across the country in recognition of National AMBER Alert Awareness Day, January 13, 2014. The occasion is a time to acknowledge the collaborative efforts and successes of the AMBER Alert program in assisting in the recovery of abducted children.
The AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Plan was originally started in Texas in 1996 after the abduction and murder of nine-year-old, Amber Hagerman. Responding to this tragedy, the Dallas/Fort Worth law enforcement community and the Association of Radio Managers pioneered the AMBER Plan.
The AMBER Plan is an early warning system available for use by law enforcement to alert the public, through the Emergency Alert System, when a child has been abducted and the police believe that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. Under the Plan, radio and television stations immediately broadcast information about the child abduction so that the general public may assist in the child’s recovery. The Delaware AMBER Alert Program is also supplemented by the utilization of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system to send Amber Alert notifications to WEA compliant cell phones Statewide.
“Time is critical when it comes to finding abducted children,” said Sergeant Paul G. Shavack, AMBER Alert Coordinator for Delaware. “When a child’s life is in danger, spreading the word quickly can often mean the difference between life and death. The public’s awareness and input acts as a powerful force multiplier for law enforcement and helps tremendously in contributing to the successful recovery of missing and abducted children.”
To date, 679 children have been successfully recovered in the United States as a direct result of the AMBER Alert plan. In Delaware, only ten (10) AMBER Alert activations have been issued since the Delaware Program became operational in January of 2003. While other states may vary in the number of AMBER Alert plans, Delaware has only one statewide plan and it is administrated by Delaware State Police with the cooperation of its media partners. The Delaware AMBER Alert Plan criteria adheres to the recommendations by the Department of Justice.