AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Public Safety is joining people all across the county to observe National AMBER Alert Awareness Day on Saturday, Jan. 13, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott declaring the day as AMBER Alert Awareness Day across Texas.
The first AMBER Alert program was started by law enforcement in the Dallas-Forth Worth area after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered in 1996. While the program is named after Hagerman, it is also an acronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order in 2002 creating the AMBER Alert network. This system became the model nationwide for alerting the public about abducted children.
Today there are AMBER Alert programs in all 50 states and several foreign countries.
Texas DPS director Steven McCraw says the AMBER Alert network is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the general public.
“The state’s AMBER Alert program is an important tool to engage the public in supporting law enforcement efforts to locate and bring home missing children,” McCraw said.
Since the program began in 2002, 179 children have been safely recovered through AMBER Alerts issued by DPS.
While the program is managed by DPS, there are several groups such as the National Weather Service, The Texas Association of Broadcasters and the Texas Lottery Commission that are involved in the rescue efforts for the state’s abducted children.
To receive notification on active AMBER Alerts in your area, click here.