Albany- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is applauding the national expansion of the AMBER Alert, the public notification system that has helped return over 200 aducted children safely since 1997, which will allow for alerts to be sent to individuals with cell phones or other wireless devices, such as Blackberrys, personal digital assistants, or personal computers in their area.
Senator Golden stated, "I am proud that the country has followed the State of New York in advancing with the times and will now provide for an official notification of a missing child through e-mail and text messaging. The Amber Alert system has given us a strong groundwork on which to build as a society to see that our children remain out of harms way. We have expanded it’s abilities and our nation’s children will be safer because of this capability."
Senator Golden continued, "An official e-mail message will allow so many more people to see and read about a missing child. The more people who know and are on the look out for a missing child, the better the chance that the child will be found safe and unharmed. This new mechanism has fortified our alert and notification plan and will provide greater assistance to law enforcement officials and increase the chances that a child will return home safely."
Senator Golden led passage of similar legislation in the New York State Legislature which became New York State law last year. Senator Golden was sparked to introduce legislation following a situation where a missing person’s search within his community included personal e-mails with photographs and a description of the missing person. Local residents who received the e-mail questioned the validity of the message and some erased the message for fear it was SPAM mail.
The Amber Alert Plan is named in honor of nine-year old Amber Hagerman who was abducted and brutally murdered in 1996. Spurred by a community outcry over Amber’s tragic death, the Amber Plan was created to serve as a quick and ready response to any child abduction.