Amber Alerts : Are They Effective?

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AMBER Alerts: Are They Effective?
Alyssa Payne
CJC-113 Juvenile Justice
James Crawford
Fall Semester 2015

“Fairfield Police Department?” a dispatcher answered the telephone.
“OH MY GOD! Someone took my car, MY SON WAS INSIDE!” a distraught woman sobbed.
“Give me a vehicle description, how old is your son, which way did the car go?”
“It is a silver Toyota Corolla, my son is 8 and I don’t know which way the car went.”
“Ma’am, I know you’re scared; I have officers on the way to you. What is your son’s name?”
“How long were you in the house? I just need a time frame”
“Maybe 2 minutes…”
This situation is every parent’s very worst night. Fortunately, in this case, an official AMBER alert was issued about
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January 13, 1996, AMBER Hagerman was riding her bike in Arlington, TX with her little brother. She rode a short distance farther than she was supposed to and her brother turned around and went back home. In that short span of time, a driver of a black truck pulled up, picked up AMBER and drove away. Luckily a neighbor watched the incident and called the police immediately with a description of the truck. Unfortunately, her body was found 4 days later with her throat cut. She had been alive for 2 days before her death. Her death sparked an outcry from parents across the nation. Radio stations in the Dallas area were the first to answer that outcry. They teamed up with local law enforcement to help launch the first AMBER alert system. It was named in honor of AMBER Hagerman. The official name for an AMBER alert now is also America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response System. It wasn’t until 2009 that every state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands had an AMBER alert plan in place. Every state follows a set of suggested guidelines handed down from the Department of Justice. The first is to confirm the abduction. The second is to establish the risk of serious injury or bodily harm. In the case of stranger abduction, this is already established without further investigation. Third there must
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