News


FDLE commemorates national AMBER Alert Awareness Day

1/17/2017
 
For Immediate Release
January 13, 2017
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - 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 January 13.
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said, “The more these alerts are shared among concerned citizens, the better chance a child has of being recovered quickly and safely. Please sign up to be notified when there is an AMBER or Missing Child Alert in Florida.”
More than 20,000 citizens have signed up at www.missingchildrenalert.com to receive Florida AMBER Alerts via e-mail.  You can also follow FDLE on Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to quickly share alerts with others on social media.
Last year, FDLE’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse issued 12 AMBER Alerts and 36 Missing Child Alerts. Six children were located as a direct result of the AMBER Alert and five children were located as a direct result of a Missing Child Alert. 
Citizen awareness is vital to the success of the AMBER Alert plan. On January 28, 2016, two children, ages 4 and 5, were abducted by their mother in St. Petersburg. Law enforcement determined that they were in danger and an AMBER Alert was activated. Citizens at a motel in Madison County received the wireless emergency AMBER alert on their phones and recognized the vehicle in the parking lot. Because of an alerted public, the children were safely rescued. 
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 208 AMBER Alerts and 68 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 January 13 each year, the U.S. Department of Justice remembers the abduction and brutal murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman that occurred 21 years ago in Texas.
To view safety tips on how to keep your children safe, visit http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MCICSearch/SafetyTips.asp To learn more about Florida’s AMBER Plan or to sign up to receive alerts, visits www.missingchildrenalert.com.