National AMBER Alert Awareness Day celebrated with poster contest
The 18th anniversary of the AMBER Alert system was Monday, Jan. 13. AMBER Alert in Idaho is a program of voluntary cooperation among broadcasters, cable television providers and local and state agencies to enhance the public's ability to assist in recovering abducted children.
AMBER Alert notification is supported by the AMBER Alert Web Portal and the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
AMBER Alert, which stands for "American's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response," was created by law enforcement and media representatives in Arlington, Texas, in 1996 after the kidnapping and brutal murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman.
"The awareness of the public of the AMBER Alert system has been vital in recovering children in a timely manner," said Dawn Peck, Idaho State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification manager and Idaho AMBER Alert coordinator.
"Idaho has a dedicated group of professionals that form the Idaho State AMBER Alert Advisory and Review Committee," she explained. "The protection of our children is the focal point for this committee.
"I am pleased to chair the committee and to implement the improvements to the process for issuing an AMBER Alert to increase the chance of returning children safely to their families," Peck added.
The criteria for an AMBER Alert to be issued are very specific and are as follows:
To bring awareness to the issue of missing children, child safety and the AMBER Alert Program, the Idaho Missing Persons Clearinghouse, also administered by the Idaho State Police, will participate in the National Missing Children Poster Contest.
The U.S. Department of Justice annually sponsors a national poster contest to help raise awareness about child safety. The purpose of the contest is to exhibit America's effort to bring missing children home safely, while highlighting the importance of preemptive education programs. Student involvement in the poster contest promotes peer education, while captivating students to explore and understand the theme "Bring Our Missing Children Home."
The winning poster of the Idaho Poster Contest will be sent to the National Contest for judging. The national winner along with their teacher and parents will travel to Washington, D.C., to receive an award and participate in the Missing Children's Day ceremony, May 25.
Contest details and application forms are located on the Idaho Missing Person Clearinghouse web page located at isp.idaho.gov/BCI under the Missing Person Clearinghouse Tab or call the Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 208-884-7137. The winner will be announced Feb. 24.