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July 12, 2007

Get AMBER Alerts on Your Cell Phone

Ap_wireless_amber_alerts_van Most drivers are familiar with the AMBER Alerts that are sometimes displayed on our highways, urging citizens to be on the lookout for an abducted child and her abductor, and known information about their vehicle. During these times, when a child's safety is in question, many people wonder if there is anything they can do individually to help.

Thanks to new wireless technology, in addition to paying close attention to AMBER Alerts when they are distributed via broadcast outlets or on highway signs, they can also sign up to receive AMBER Alerts as free text messages on their wireless devices. Their participation will add critical eyes and ears to the search for abducted children.

Any wireless subscriber capable of receiving text messages, and whose wireless carrier participates in the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative, may opt in to receive free Alerts by completing a simple registration process at or their wireless carrier's website.

Ap_amber_alert_2 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. Since its inception, more than 330 children have been successfully recovered 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.

By Brandy Schaffels
Contributing Editor

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