Tallahassee, FL (WTVY) Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen joined Florida’s local, state, federal and private partners to commemorate National AMBER Alert Awareness Day held annually on Jan. 13.
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said, “We know that AMBER Alerts save the lives of children and January is the perfect time to like FDLE on Facebook or sign up through email so you’ll be notified when there is an AMBER or Missing Child Alert in Florida.”
More than 30,000 citizens have signed up at www.missingchildrenalert.com to receive Florida AMBER Alerts via e-mail. You can also like FDLE on Facebook allowing you to quickly share alerts with others on social media.
Last year, FDLE’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse issued six AMBER Alerts and 38 Missing Child Alerts. One child was located as a direct result of the AMBER Alert and seven children were located as a direct result of a Missing Child Alert. On October, 10, 2015, a child went missing from Orlando, Florida. Due to the AMBER Alert, specifically the wireless text message, a citizen recognized the child, and she was returned home safely.
FDLE, in conjunction with the Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Association of Broadcasters, Inc., established the Florida AMBER Plan in 2000. Florida was the second state in the nation to take the partnership for AMBER Alerts statewide. Since that time, the AMBER Plan has expanded to include billboards, dynamic highway message signs, wireless emergency alerts, social media, and lottery machines. Since the program’s inception, FDLE has issued 196 AMBER Alerts and 63 children have been located as a direct result of the AMBER Plan. Each year, approximately 35,000 children are reported missing in Florida, with the majority of those being reported as runaways.
AMBER stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response,” and on Jan. 13 each year, the U.S. Department of Justice remembers the abduction and brutal murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman that occurred 20 years ago in Texas.