The NATSO Foundation and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) have joined together in support of the U.S. Department of Justice’s AMBER Alert program to safely recover abducted children. The NATSO Foundation is emailing AMBER Alerts to truckstop and travel plaza locations as they are issued by the NCMEC. This system is designed to deliver the potentially lifesaving alerts to travel plazas in the area of an abduction.
“A lot of times if someone is taking off with a child, the first thing they do is hit the interstate, so this partnership has the potential to be huge,” said Robert Hoever, associate director, Missing Children Division, NCMEC.
As a secondary AMBER Alert distributor, the NATSO Foundation will electronically distribute geographically targeted AMBER Alerts to nearly 1,150 truckstop and travel plaza member locations across the country. The system is designed to deliver the potentially life-saving alerts and updates to locations in the area of an abduction as soon as the NATSO Foundation is notified by NCMEC that an AMBER Alert has been issued.
Hoever noted, “Make sure that every employee in the facility is aware of the AMBER Alert and the information that is contained within it.”
The AMBER Alert briefly describes the child and the abductor. It also provides other critical information, such as car make and model and which authorities should be contacted if the child is found.
NATSO will only distribute AMBER Alert emails to the truckstop and travel plaza locations in the area where the NCMEC is looking for a child. For example, if the NCMEC is looking for a child in California, the email alerts will only be sent to travel plaza locations in California or neighboring states. All active AMBER Alerts can be found on NATSO’s website.
Ernie Allen, NCMEC president and chief executive officer, said, “By utilizing the truckstop and travel plaza industry, we will be able to mobilize more people in the search for abducted children and hopefully bring more children home safely.”
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Frequently Asked Questions
“The truckstop and travel plaza industry is proud to enlist its support in the work to safely recover abducted children,” said NATSO Foundation president and chief executive officer Lisa Mullings. “There is no cause more important than the safety of a child.”
How Truckstops Can Join The Effort
- Be on the lookout for AMBER Alert emails. Contact Kimberly Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not receiving the alerts and would like to be added to the list.
- Don’t let the email get caught in your spam filter. Make sure email@example.com is an approved sender.
- Share the alerts with customers by displaying them in visible areas. Post them on electronic displays, posters and signage, or in other creative ways that will maximize their visibility to customers, and display these alerts at your entrance way, near a register or next to restroom entrances and exits.
- Make sure your employees are aware of the AMBER Alert and what to do if they have any information.
This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazine. Stop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations and provides context on trends and news affecting the industry.
The magazine is mailed to NATSO members bimonthly. If you are a member and not receiving Stop Watch, submit a request to be added to the mailing list. Not a member? Join today or submit a request to receive additional information.
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