On Jan. 13, the seventh annual AMBER Alert Awareness Day will commemorate the anniversary of the 1996 abduction and murder of Amber Hangerman and raise awareness of the fight to recover missing children.
Nine-year-old Amber Hangerman of Arlington, Texas, was abducted and murdered in 1995, and the outraged community began the "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Plan," or AMBER Alert system in 1996 to assist law-enforcement by having the community, broadcasters and transportation agencies search for the missing child.
The AMBER Alert system uses the Emergency Alert System, or EAS, to spread information about the most important child abduction cases, so that broadcasters air a description of the child and a description of his or her suspected abductor.
The program that began in Texas sparked a national AMBER Alert movement, along with AMBER Alert programs being implemented in every state. Since its genesis in 1996, the AMBER Alert program has seen 602 successful recoveries of missing children as of Jan. 3.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one of the nation's leaders in recovering missing children, the goal of the AMBER Alert is to "instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for safe recovery of the child."
To receive AMBER Alerts directly on a mobile device, join the "Eyes and Ears Project" at www.eyesandearsproject.com, which is a free alert system that increases the eyes and ears available to law-enforcement officers during an AMBER Alert.
For more information regarding AMBER Alert Awareness Day, or AMBER Alerts, visit www.amberalert.com.