TEXAS, USA — The Texas Department of Public Safety is joining the nation in observing national AMBER Alert Awareness Day Wednesday, Jan. 13.
According to a DPS press release, Jan. 13 marks 25 years since Amber Hagerman, 9, of Arlington was abducted. Hagerman was found dead four days later.
The Hagerman case remains unsolved, however, it led to America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response or AMBER Alert system being created.
“The state’s AMBER Alert program is a proven tool in helping save abducted children throughout Texas by engaging the public and other stakeholders,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said. “The vigilance and efforts of law enforcement, our partner agencies and the people of Texas are vital in protecting our most vulnerable population – our children.”
The first AMBER Alert program was created in response to Amber Hagerman's death by law enforcement and broadcast media representatives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the release.
The program also served as a nationwide model to alert the public of abducted children.
Several other countries and all 50 states in the United States now have an AMBER Alert program.
The Texas AMBER Alert program was established in 2002 and is managed by DPS. The alerts provide law enforcement a mechanism for rapid notification t broadcast media and the public in serious child abduction cases when certain criteria is met, the release said.
There are 18 AMBER Alert programs throughout the state, which are supported by law enforcement, emergency management and non-profit agencies.
There have been 251 alerts issued and 263 children have been located since the state program was created.
Activation of the Texas AMBER Alert Networks involves resources from the following:
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Office of the Governor
- National Weather Service
- Texas Department of Transportation
- Local, state and federal law enforcement
- Broadcast Media
- Texas Association of Broadcasters
- Independent Bankers Association of Texas
- Texas Lottery Commission
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Numerous other stakeholders
DPS provides the following guidelines for parents concerned about a missing child:
- Immediately contact their local law enforcement agency.
- Be prepared to give law enforcement a recent photo of the child, provide a detailed description of what the child was wearing, any details that could identify the child or abductor — including vehicle and license plate information.
An email notification system that distributes AMBER alert notification is offered by DPS. Anyone who wants to become a subscriber should register online with a valid email address and zip code at Subscribe to Receive Texas Alerts.
For anyone wanting to receive AMBER Alert information statewide follow @TX_Alerts.