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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Are Amber Alerts Overused?


Are Amber Alerts Overused?
March 18, 2006, 12:43 PM EST

Ten years after the missing child alerts began, the Amber Alert program has been adopted in all 50 states. In some, it's being used for reasons beyond its original purpose of helping find children abducted by strangers.

Texas and other states have opened Amber Alert to include abductions by non-custodial parents or family members if the child is in immediate danger of injury or death. Although they don't advocate a narrower use of the system, some law enforcement officials are concerned that Amber Alerts will be overused and therefore become less effective.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange said, "You don't want to be in a position where you get Amber fatigue -- where people say, 'It never ends, another Amber Alert,' and they tune out."

Amber stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The system was created in 1996 after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was riding her bicycle near her home in Arlington when she was kidnapped and killed. Amber Alerts are broadcast on radio and television and appear on highway signs and, by request, on cell phones.

This article is posted on our Main Forum. I thought I would share a few of our members comments:

Magic407 said: An abducted child is just that....abducted. Whether or not it's a stranger, but a non-custodial parent or a relative, they could still be in danger. Obviously if it's a stranger they are most likely in more immediate danger, but you never know. I applaude the states that have added family abductions to their Ambers. It's not like a car alarm that people eventually just ignore....these are children.

Themis Eternal said: I couldn't have said it better. If you ask me, too late , the AMBER Alert System isn't being used to it's fullest potential. How can a system be over used when the criteria is so strict it isn't being activated when it should. LE has a bad habit of complaining because it is extra paperwork for them. I should know I have dealt with them my entire life.

Chickadee said: Amber Alert over used >> Never. To me only an idiot would think so .. Not use as much in some areas as it should be as said above due to the citeria set. Would we not want to have the bomb squad respond to a false alarm than a real one? Same with Amber alerts .. a minute in time may save a child and each child is priceless. Oh my, I am getting bad .. calling names "idiot" and saying "off with thier heads"

What do you think? Feel free to add a comment or come to our forum. Guests and Visitors are always welcome to voice their opinions. And you don't have to join to post.

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