|The concept for AMBER Alert
is simple and effective: Law enforcement and the media working
together to alert the public and effect the quick, safe recovery
of abducted children.
Seventy-four percent of children who are kidnapped and later
found murdered are killed within the first three hours after being
taken, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Time is critical
if abducted children are to be successfully recovered. Early involvement
of the media in a child abduction case can make the difference
between unthinkable tragedy and joyous reunification.
During missing child incidents, the media serve as the conduit
between law enforcement officials and the public in making sure
timely and accurate information quickly reaches the intended public
audience. Broadcast media are among the first respondersthe
vehicle that transmits the early, rapid AMBER (America 's Missing:
Broadcast Emergency Response) Alerts giving citizens the basic
information that will enable them to be involved in the search
for an abducted child.
The critical role played by broadcast journalists in an early
response does not minimize the need for other media during AMBER
Alert incidents. Cable companies, newspapers, and specialty publications
also play a vital role in reaching all segments of the public.
AMBER Alerts solicit the public's eyes and ears, and all media,
regardless of audience or geographical reach, can help enlist the
public's participation when a child is missing or abducted. Consequently,
all forms of media are important and needed.