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Jan-12-2009 22:35printcomments

Oregon Joins Nation in Recognition of AMBER ALERT Awareness Day

National AMBER Alert Awareness Day sees 12th birthday on January 13th 2009‏.

Amber Alert logo

(PORTLAND, Ore,) - Twelve years since the abduction and murder of Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas, January 13th 2009 commemorates the third national AMBER Alert Awareness Day.

Following Amber's abduction, the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law-enforcement in 1997 to implement the first local AMBER Plan. Since that time, the program has grown into a seamless network of 120 AMBER Plans across the country, and has even reached into Canada and parts of England.

Nationwide, there are 29 regional, 38 local, and statewide plans in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In November 2002, the State of Oregon announced its implementation of a statewide AMBER Alert Plan. Oregon's AMBER Alert Plan - American's Missing Broadcast Emergency Response, is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies and local broadcasters to send an emergency alert to the public when a child has been abducted and it is believed the child's life is in danger.

Overall, AMBER Alert programs have been credited with the successful rescue of over 400 children. Oregon joins the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children encouraging all wireless subscribers to sign up for Wireless AMBER Alerts.

More information about Wireless AMBER Alerts and national AMBER Alert Awareness Day is available at missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=3902.

Oregon's AMBER Plan Criteria are:

1. Law enforcement confirms a child has been abducted

2. The child is 17 years or younger

3. The child may be in danger of serious bodily harm or death

4. There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and/or suspect's vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help.

5. The child's name and other critical data elements - including the child abduction (CA) and AMBER Alert (AA) flags will/have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system. (* This alert system is not to be used when a child runs away or involves a custodial situation.)

The Oregon State Police is the designated law enforcement agency which local law enforcement agencies contact to initiate an AMBER Alert.

When all the AMBER guidelines and criteria have been met, the AMBER Alert Plan is activated using the AMBER Web Portal.

Since Oregon's AMBER Alert plan implementation, there have been 12 activations and the successful recovery of 14 children. The AMBER Alert Web Portal enhances the definition and functionality of what is used to promote AMBER Alerts.

Currently, states use the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which has strived to provide America with up-to-the-minute, life-saving information for more than 30 years.

The AMBER Alert Web Portal will provide significant scalability and redundancy to the EAS by simultaneously disseminating real-time information to dozens of alerting partners and the public via emails, pagers, and cell phones, in addition to making AMBER information immediately available on the Internet.

Anyone may sign-up at no cost to be notified of Oregon's AMBER Alerts through the AMBER Alert Web Portal. Information about the AMBER Alert Plan in Oregon is available at the Oregon State Police web site at: oregon.gov/OSP/AMBERALERT/index.shtml

The following is a review of Oregon AMBER Alert activations:

Oregon Activations: 12 Children recovered: 14

1. 3/3/2003 - Redmond (9 yr. old girl)

2. 4/5/2003 - Salem (10 month old boy)

3. 12/01/03 - Grants Pass (2 yr old girl)

4. 3/10/04 - Mt. Vernon, WA (13 yr old girl)

5. 3/19/04 - Shady Cove (5 month old boy)

6. 4/20/04 - Josephine Co. (3 and 5 yr old girls)

7. 4/24/04 - Eugene (16 yr old girl)

8. 8/09/04 - Calif. Highway Patrol (3 yr old boy)

9. 10/14/05 - Mt. Angel (11 yr old boy)

10. 9/19/05 - Salem (18 month & 8 yr old boys)

11. 11/14/05 - Hillsboro (4 yr old boy)

12. 4/18/06 - Vancouver PD (10 yr old girl - unfounded)

More information about Amber Alert's is available at www.amberalert.gov.

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