On Monday, Arizona marks ten years of locating missing children through its AMBER Alert system.
Since being launched, 70 AMBER Alerts have been issued in Arizona. All but one, the ongoing Jhessye Shockley case , has been resolved successfully through a partnership between local radio and television broadcasters, law enforcement, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the public to recover abducted children.
AMBER, which stands for "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response," was launched in Arizona in 2002 as part of a nationwide push to establish the safety net. Today, all 50 states have AMBER Alert plans.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, since its creation in 1996, the AMBER Alert program has helped to find and safely recover more than 490 abducted children. On Jan. 13, 1996, Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered. The AMBER Alert network was created after her tragic death.
One of the most important tools for law-enforcement to use in the recovery of a missing child is an up-to-date, good-quality photograph along with descriptive information. That photo should be a full-face shot in color.
Families should have current photographs of their children. These photographs can often be obtained free-of-charge or for a nominal fee from a number of sources. The photograph should be a full-face shot in color, and capture the way children really look. Photographs should be taken at least every six months and kept in a safe and readily accessible place.
In addition to the photograph, parents and guardians should also have a written description of their children.
The description should include:
· Hair color
· Eye color
· Date of Birth and
· Unique physical attributes such as eyeglasses, braces, or piercings
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children recommends parents and guardians keep current child identification information on hand and offers these resources as guidance on the issue of child identification and the tools parents and guardians need to be prepared.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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