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The AMBER Advocate, Volume 4, Issue 1, April 2010

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2010
12 pages
This issue of the "Amber Advocate" reviews the history of the "AMBER Alert" through 2009, including data on its use for each year from 2004-09, its recent introduction in Indian Country, and its expansion into Ireland and the Netherlands.
When Diana Simone, a Fort Worth (Texas) mother, heard of the abduction and murder of 9 year-old Amber Hagerman in 1996, she called her favorite radio station, KDMX, and presented mid-day host Kim Ashley with an idea. She proposed the creation of a "broadcast alert" for abducted children. Ashley convinced Simone to call station manager Jennifer Grim with the idea. The station manager then asked Simone to send her a letter with details of her plan. In the letter, Simone described an emergency system to be established that would be linked to the 911 system. Upon receiving a verified call, all the radio stations in the area would be notified immediately. They would interrupt programming to broadcast an emergency alert, providing information and descriptions pertinent to identifying the missing child. Simone requested that the system be known as "Amber's Plan." The AMBER Alert spread throughout Texas and eventually became a national initiative as America's Missing Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER). Approximately 500 children abducted in the United States have been discovered through AMBER Alerts. The alerts now go out on radio and TV, highway signs, and cell phones (Simone's original idea). The AMBER Alert has been introduced in 10 pilot sites in Indian Country and versions of the system have been established in Ireland and the Netherlands. An example of how the AMBER Alert was successfully used to save an abducted girl from a predator in Arizona is provided.

Date Published: April 1, 2010