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Entry from January 07, 2007
Amber Alert

“Amber Alert” is a notification system to law enforcement and the media about a child abduction. “Amber Alert” is named for Amber Hagerman, the 9-year-old who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas in 1996, and then murdered.
The name “Amber Alert” has nothing to do with the color “amber.” It’s sometimes stated that “AMBER” means “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response,” but that acronym was invented from Amber Hagerman’s first name some time in 2000. An “AMBER Alert” postage stamp was announced in 2006.
The Amber Alert system was modeled after Texas tornado and hazardous weather alerts, using the existing emergency radio and tv response network.
The Origin of the Amber Plan
The AMBER Plan was created in 1996 as a powerful legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, a bright little girl who was kidnapped and brutally murdered while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas. The tragedy shocked and outraged the entire community. Residents contacted radio stations in the Dallas area and suggested they broadcast special “alerts” over the airwaves so that they could help prevent such incidents in the future.

In response to the community’s concern for the safety of local children, the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law-enforcement agencies in northern Texas and developed this innovative early warning system to help find abducted children. Statistics show that, when abducted, a child’s greatest enemy is time.

In April, 2003, President Bush signed the Amber Alert legislation making it a national program. While the Amber Alert system is now mandated across the country, some states are still trying to implement the procedures necessary in bringing the alerts to the public. Hampered by outdated Emergency Broadcast guidelines and different activation criteria in each state, the system needs a fair amount of fine-tuning to be optimally effective. Code Amber is on the cutting edge with the technology helping to make that a reality.   
USPS Stamp News
May 25, 2006
AMBER Alert postage stamp issued during National Missing Children’s Day
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of drawing attention to important social causes by issuing the AMBER Alert stamp to honor a program dedicated to the rapid recovery of abducted children. This stamp dedication ceremony was hosted by Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, at the Department of Justice’s National Missing Children’s Day Awards presentations in Washington, DC. A separate ceremony took place in Arlington, TX, the hometown of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped in 1996. AMBER is an acronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.

“We’re pleased that with our stamp program we have another opportunity to raise awareness of critical issues. If this stamp can help inform even one citizen of the AMBER Alert program, it can make a difference in the safety of a child,” said John E. Potter, Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service and dedicating official.
Joining Potter and Gonzales at the Washington, DC, event were Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, and National AMBER Alert Coordinator, U.S. Department of Justice; Ernie Allen, President, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association, former U.S. Congressman and Seattle Seahawk football player and member, NFL Hall of Fame; and John Bish, father of Molly Bish, an abducted and murdered child.
“Every time Americans see the new AMBER Alert stamp, they will be reminded of the important role they play, as citizens, to work with law enforcement and broadcasters to help recover abducted children and return them to their families,” said Schofield.
At the Arlington, TX, dedication ceremony Susan Plonkey, Vice President, Customer Service, U.S. Postal Service was the dedicating official. Joining her were J. Robert Flores, Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Department of Justice; Dr. Robert Cluck, Mayor of Arlington, TX; Dee Anderson, Sheriff, Tarrant County; and, Donna Norris, mother of Amber Hagerman.
“I often wonder how it would have been to see Amber graduate. She wasn’t just my little girl, she was my dream and there is so much that has been taken from us. It’s something you never get over,” said Amber’s mother, Donna Norris. “I think the Amber Alert System and the issuance of the AMBER Alert stamp would have made Amber proud. It’s like she’s a guardian angel looking over children, making sure they get home safe. Every time a child comes home,” Norris says, “baby girl, you did it again.”

The AMBER Alert program originated in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area in 1996 after the kidnapping and murder of Amber Hagerman. Other states and communities soon began adopting similar plans, and by 2005 a national alert system coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice extended across all 50 states.

AMBER alerts, which have helped in the recovery of more than 265 children, can mobilize the community during the first critical hours following a kidnapping and provide police with a wide network of eyes and ears to assist in the search.
The stamp is illustrated with a chalk pastel drawing by artist Vivienne Flesher and shows a reunited mother and child entwined in each other’s arms. The type on each stamp and text across the header of the stamp pane reads “AMBER ALERT saves missing children.” These 39-cent stamps will be available nationwide today.
Wikipedia: AMBER Alert
In the United States and Canada, an AMBER Alert is a notification to the general public, by various media outlets, of a confirmed child abduction. AMBER is a backronym for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response”, and was named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996. Exceptions are in Georgia, where it is called Levi’s Call, and Arkansas, where it is called a Morgan Nick Amber Alert. Those plans were named after children who went missing in those states.

AMBER Alerts are distributed via commercial radio stations, satellite radio, television stations, and cable TV by the Emergency Alert System, as well as via e-mail, electronic traffic-condition signs, and wireless device SMS text messages. The decision to declare an AMBER Alert is made by the police organization investigating the abduction. Public information in an AMBER Alert usually consists of the name and description of the abductee, a description of the suspected abductor, and a description and license plate number of the abductor’s vehicle, if available.
After Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered, citizens of her community learned that local law enforcement had information that might have helped locate her shortly after she was abducted, but had no means to distribute this information. The plan was modeled after Texas tornado and hazardous weather alerts and used the existing emergency radio and TV response network. Various U.S. states and communities followed suit, developing similar systems named after Amber Hagerman.
Google Groups:
From:  Zanaglen
Date:  Sat, Jul 18 1998 12:00 am
I see a cut from a song played with the AMBER ALERT nationwide just like we play the nuclear alert test. The goal is to scare off child abducters and to have our artists heard singing a non commercial song for a universal cause by 2000. 
Google Grous:
From:  noone
Date:  Wed, Oct 25 2000 12:00 am
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has endorsed the use of the “AMBER Plan’’—America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response - -to assist in the recovery of missing children. The plan is simple—to alert the public as quickly as possible of a child abduction in hopes of gaining information leading to the safe recovery of that child and capture of the abductor.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, January 07, 2007 • Permalink

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