Deborah Flory has been with the Maryland State Police since 1996. She is assigned to the Criminal Enforcement Division’s (CED) Child Recovery Unit (CRU) as the AMBER Alert and Silver Alert Coordinator. Her assignment in CED began in 2003, and included the AMBER Alert program. The Child Recovery Unit (CRU) utilizes specialized computer skills and cell phone knowledge to track and locate critical missing and abducted children in Maryland. Flory is also a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Crimes Against Children Task Force, Special Deputy - U.S. Marshal, with full federal authority focusing on trafficking of juveniles.
What is unique to your AMBER Alert/missing persons program, and what do you think makes it successful?
Our program is unique in the fact our unit has full authority to issue an AMBER Alert or Silver Alert. Most programs have a long chain of command or need an outside commission to issue. Our command staff has full trust in our process, which cuts out a lot of wasted time and delays when issuing the alert.
What motivates you to find missing and abducted children?
The family of the missing. Knowing this is the most critical time and can be the difference between life and death. That’s what motivates me.
Please share details about your most memorable success story in working a missing child case. How did the AMBER Alert support the outcome? What were the most important lessons learned?
The AMBER Alert program has made all our alerts memorable. The alert has worked to make a speedy return or resolution. No matter how much time is lost from the time the missing child is reported until the time a police department makes the AMBER Alert request, in most cases the suspect gets the alert and releases or returns the child.
How have your career and life experiences, including your work as an AMBER Alert Coordinator, strengthened your commitment to helping endangered, missing and abducted children?
When I was assigned to CRU and the AMBER Alert program, I knew I wanted to finish my career here. Nothing is more rewarding than helping missing and endangered children.
What would you like to see happen with your AMBER Alert program and other programs in the future?
I would love to see a National AMBER Alert; the time needed to alert other states is too slow.
How has training helped you in AMBER Alert cases?
I would like to think I have attended every missing persons training there is, and every time I learn something new. The technology training alone has helped in locating missing, technologically savvy kids.
What advice would you give to other AMBER Alert partners?
Streamline your process. Time is of the essence.