Amber Alert's record shows it can make a crucial a difference

Go down

Normal Amber Alert's record shows it can make a crucial a difference

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:15 pm

Amber Alert's record shows it can make a crucial a difference

By Dong-Phuong Nguyen, Times Staff Writer
Posted: Oct 27, 2009 08:13 PM

TAMPA — Since its inception almost a decade ago, Florida's state-wide Amber Alert program has saved children in at least 45 missing or abduction cases, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement official said Tuesday.

The results underscore the need for both specialized training and support of the program, law enforcement officials said during the first day of a three-day symposium exploring the programs' strengths and weaknesses.

"If just one child is saved, that's enough for me," said Donna Hodges, an FDLE researcher and training specialist involved in the Florida endeavor. "It has made a difference."

The U.S. Department of Justice is hosting the National Amber Alert Training Symposium at the Hyatt in downtown Tampa, drawing about 350 advocates from all over the world. About 45 family members of abducted children who either returned home safely, remain missing, or were murdered, joined the gathering.

Ed Smart, whose daughter Elizabeth was taken from her bedroom in Utah in 2002 and found alive nine months later, said that before his daughter's abduction, he had never even heard of the Amber Alert.

The system sends out bulletins on TV, radio, the Internet and highway signs for the public to be on the lookout for a missing child.

"I am a big supporter of the Amber Alert because I believe more children can be saved," Smart said. "And it starts here, in this room. This is the core right here."

Nationwide, leaders have embarked on a campaign to not only get the word out about the Amber Alert system, but to get law enforcement to change its approach to reports of missing children.

For example, most law officers are currently trained to expect a "worst case scenario" when responding to a burglary call. Yet a missing child alert still carries questions and doubt and lacks compassion, said Phil Keith, a program manager for training and technical assistance for the U.S. Dept. of Justice's Amber Alert Initiative.

The first hours are the most critical in abduction cases, Keith said, so it is imperative that investigators move swiftly.

Some countries, like the Netherlands, uses sophisticated computer programming to spread alerts to electronic devices such as Blackberries and Smartphones.

Carlo Schippers of the National Police in the Netherlands said that since launching the program last November, about 200,000 of the country's 16-million people have signed up for the mobile alerts.

"Within half an hour of sending out an Amber Alert, unless you're living under a bridge in a cardboard box that gets bad reception, you should know about it," Schippers said. "Child abduction is a problem that is everywhere. We need to work together and communicate."

In Texas, leaders there credit a network of regional communications for its 100 percent success rate. Since 2002, 42 Amber Alerts have been issued; they have all resulted in happy endings, said Al Lowe, a regional Amber Alert coordinator in Texas.

Similarly, in New York since 2000, children in all 25 Amber Alert cases were reunited with their families.

Florida, meanwhile, has issued 147 Amber Alerts since 2000. Investigators successfully resolved 142 of those cases. Hodges took a closer look at the cases and discovered that in 45 of them, people indicated that the system played a direct role in the child's recovery.

But some Amber Alerts have tragic endings. The symposium, which continues through Thursday, comes weeks after two girls were abducted and killed in two different states.

The group planned a candlelight vigil Tuesday night in memory of Somer Thompson, 7, of Orange Park, and Elizabeth Olten, 9, of Missouri.

Despite the recent deaths, proponents say the program works. Since 1996, 492 missing or abducted children were found alive nationwide as a direct result of the Amber Alert system, officials said.

"One life in and of itself is precious," said California Highway Patrol Capt. LD Maples, the state's Amber Alert coordinator. "I don't see how anything that can get information out to the public about a child's abduction isn't good."

Dong-Phuong Nguyen can be reached at (813)909-4613 or [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Since 2000, Florida has issued 147 Amber Alerts. Of those missing children's cases, 142 have been resolved. There are still five unresolved Amber Alert cases. They are:

Haleigh Cummings, 5. Haleigh was being watched by her father's girlfriend, who reported her missing from her bed the night of Feb. 10, 2009 from Putnam County.

Bryan Dos Santos-Gomez, 1 month old. Bryan was taken from his mother at knife-point after she got into a car to provide a stranger directions on Dec. 1, 2006 in Ft. Myers.

Trenton Duckett, 2. Trenton's mother reported him missing on Aug. 27 after she went to check on him in his bedroom in Leesburg.

Jarkeius Adside, 1. Jarkeius was abducted by three assailants during a home invasion robbery in Miami on Oct. 18, 2001.

Zachary Michael-Cole Bernhardt, 8. Zachary was reported missing from his bed on Sept. 11, 2000, in Clearwater.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
--------------------------
I will eventually move this very important topic to the Amber Alert thread..I want to understand WHY they don't always issue an Amber Alert for ANY missing child immediately..no matter what the circumstances are.

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Amber Alert's record shows it can make a crucial a difference

Post by CritterFan1 on Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:27 am

Same here, warped speed.
avatar
CritterFan1

Join date : 2009-06-01

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Amber Alert's record shows it can make a crucial a difference

Post by Guest on Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:04 pm

Bravo :thanks: wrapitup this subject is near and dear to my heart. The Amber alert system is not perfect but it is one of the few tools LE has to work with.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Amber Alert's record shows it can make a crucial a difference

Post by Love4My5boys on Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:31 pm

I will eventually move this very important topic to the Amber Alert thread..I want to understand WHY they don't always issue an Amber Alert for ANY missing child immediately..no matter what the circumstances are.
Thanks for sharing that article, I 2nd that motion!!!!
avatar
Love4My5boys

Join date : 2009-06-01

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Amber Alert's record shows it can make a crucial a difference

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum