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AMBER Alerts Program Expands To Facebook
01/18/2011
On January 12, 2011, the Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Facebook announced an exciting new tool to enhance the outreach of the AMBER Alert Program.  Facebook has been added to the growing list of partners to provide AMBER Alerts.
 
If you have a Facebook page, please go to http://www.facebook.com/amberalert and "like" the State you are interested in receiving AMBER Alerts from.
 
If you would like to go straight to a State page, for Oregon you can go to:
 
http://www.facebook.com/amberalertOR
 
To learn more about Oregon's AMBER Alert Program:
 
http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/AMBERALERT/index.shtml
 
The following information is from a NCMEC news release announcing this new initiative:
 
Life-saving AMBER Alerts are now available to the millions of people on the social networking service Facebook.  Effective today (January 12, 2011), Facebook users are able to sign up to receive AMBER Alert bulletins for their state which will be sent to them through the Facebook "News Feed" feature.  A total of 53 new AMBER Alert Pages have been created, one for each state, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.  Facebook users will also be able to share the AMBER Alerts with their friends.
 
There are more than a half a billion users of Facebook.  The new Facebook AMBER Alert pages represent an important expansion of the national AMBER Alert program.
 
"Everyone at Facebook feels a responsibility to help protect children and, as a former prosecutor and a father of two, I am particularly proud that we are now part of the AMBER Alert program," said Chris Sonderby, Facebook Lead Security and Investigations Counsel.  "Our hearts go out to the families of the missing and our gratitude goes to the officers, volunteers, and other AMBER Alert partners who work tirelessly to bring them home.  We are hopeful that today's announcement offers these dedicated officials another useful tool to find and safely recover abducted children."
 
The announcement was made the day before the 15th anniversary of the abduction and murder of 9 year old Amber Hagerman, namesake of the national AMBER Alert Program.
 
"As the National AMBER Alert Coordinator, I am pleased to see the growth of the program's national network.  I would like to thank NCMEC and Facebook for working together to develop another way the public can join with us to bring home missing and abducted children.  We each can play our part by being aware and responsive to AMBER Alert postings that we will now see on Facebook," said Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs.
 
An estimated 800,000 children are reported missing every year.  AMBER Alert is a voluntary partnership involving law enforcement agencies and broadcasters.  An urgent AMBER Alert bulletin is issued by law enforcement in the most serious child-abduction cases that meet specific criteria.  The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.
 
"Average people doing average things but paying attention are saving lives and reuniting families," said Ernie Allen, President of NCMEC.  "With more than 500 million Facebook users this bold initiative will help us mobilize many more people and bring more missing children home."