The mission of the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (AATTAP) is to safely recover missing, endangered, or abducted children through the coordinated efforts of law enforcement, media, transportation, and other partners by using training and technology to enhance response capacities and capabilities and increase public participation. As of March 2018, 924 abducted children have been recovered as a result of the AMBER Alert Program.
Meet the Staff
Jim Walters, Program Administrator
Jason Sterling, Program Manager
Bonnie Davis, Project Coordinator for eLearning, Website and Publications
Melissa Blasing, Project Coordinator & Region 3 Liaison
Derek VanLuchene, AATTAP Project Coordinator & Region 5 Liaison
Jill Nysse, Project Specialist
Mishelle Bowen, Administrative Assistant IV
Gus Paidousis, AATTAP Associate & Region 2 Liaison
Yesenia Leon-Baron, AATTAP Associate & Region 1 Liaison
Janell Rasmussen, AATTAP Associate & Region 4 Liaison
The History of the AMBER Alert Initiative
The AMBER Alert System began in Dallas-Fort Worth when broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The acronym was created as a legacy to 9- year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then brutally murdered. Other states and communities began setting up their own AMBER Alert plans as the idea was adopted across the Nation.
From 1996 through 2001, the progress on developing and implementing AMBER plans throughout the country was slow to develop; at the end of 2001, only four states had statewide AMBER plans.
In 2002, the first ever White House Conference on Missing, Exploited, and Runaway Children. AMBER Alert became nationally focused. In conjunction with the conference, the President requested that the U.S. Attorney General appoint the first National AMBER Alert Coordinator. Deborah J. Daniels, Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs was appointed the first National AMBER Alert Coordinator.