AMBER Alert Briefs – Winter 2017

Short News Clips on AMBER Alert & Child Protection Issues

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Oklahoma Now Has a Blue Alert for Assaults or Murders of Officers

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed the Blue Alert into law in September 2016 to warn the public that someone is wanted for assaulting or killing an officer. The alerts will go with information about the suspect and vehicle to law enforcement, media and on electronic road signs. The Blue Alert was enacted at the same time a manhunt was underway for a suspect accused of murdering 2 people and shooting 2 officers. The Blue Alert Foundation reports that 28 states now have Blue Alerts.

The Swift 911 app logo

More Agencies Using New App for Missing Children

Law enforcement officials in Christian County, Missouri, and Fort Wayne and Allen Counties in Indiana are encouraging residents to use a new app to help find missing children. The Swift 911 app can be used to help notify the public while officers are working to determine if the case meets the criteria for effective issuance of an AMBER Alert.

Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux said he was not pleased about the time it took to approve and activate a recent AMBER Alert and thought the new system would help prevent any delays.

The app has been used in Christian County to find missing children as well as to notify the public about weather events, gas leaks, bomb threats and other emergencies. The app sends messages by text, email, social media and phone to users in a specific geographical area.

Hit and run car accident

New Jersey Considers "Zack Alert" for Hit and Run Incidents

New Jersey lawmakers are considering creating a “Zack Alert” to notify the public when someone flees from a serious accident. The alert is named after 21-year-old Zack Simmons, who was killed by the driver of a black SUV.

“Lives could be saved because a driver would think twice about leaving a scene due to the knowledge of what a Zack Alert would do,” said family friend Jennifer Jordan.

The statewide alert would notify law enforcement, media and the public when a driver has left the scene of an accident where someone was killed or seriously injured.

Vermont public safety logo

Vermont Tests AMBER Alert System

The Vermont Department of Public Safety tested its AMBER Alert system on October 19, 2016, to ensure all notification methods were working. The test sends out messages to the lottery system, electronic highway signs, news agencies and citizens signed up to receive phone alerts.