Friday, March 6, 2009

The Truth About the Amber Alert System

As a parent I assumed the Amber Alert system that was set up all across the country to help find children that were abducted was utilized for each and every missing child that disappeared under questionable circumstances. I was shocked and amazed that lots of kids go unreported on the government’s Amber Alert system because they do not meet the criteria required to have their profile spread across the system. Of those that are issued across the system 80-90% are recovered within 72 hours. But there were only 278 alerts issued in 2007 when hundreds of thousands of children go missing over the same time period.

So many parents feel that this system will be there if and when their child ever goes missing but in reality the chances of the alert being issued is slim. Plus this will also vary by state since it is up to local authorities to decide if the disappearance warrants an alert. Each state interprets the criteria differently and some states are slower than others to utilize the system. The logic behind the careful selection of cases that go across the system claims that if a alert is issued every time a child is missing the constant flow would reduce the effectiveness of the system. Some do feel that this is a good idea since too many cases will water down the effects it can have on cases that truly need the extra help. But as a parent your child is the most important alert that can be issued and you will be at the mercy of the authorities on whether it goes out across the system.

You can take matters into your own hands by using a personal tracking device to know your child’s location at any given time. These child locator devices allow you to locate your child using GPS technology in combination with your web enabled cell phone.

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