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.
NCMEC and the NATSO Foundation prepared this list of frequently asked questions from operators to help NATSO members better support the program.
Q. What is an AMBER Alert?
A. The AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child.
Q. What information is contained in the alert?
A. The AMBER Alert 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.
Q. Will I be bombarded with emails and alerts?
A. No. This system is designed to deliver the potentially lifesaving alerts to geographically targeted locations, which means the alerts will only go to travel plazas in the area of an abduction. 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.
Q. Where should I display the alerts?
A. Where and how to display the alerts is completely up to each individual business owner and/or manger. NCMEC recommends placing the alerts in highly visible locations. Post them on electronic displays, posters and signage, or in other creative ways that will maximize their visibility to customers. Consider displaying these alerts at your entrance way, near a register or next to restroom entrances and exits.
Most importantly, make sure that every employee in the facility is aware of the AMBER Alert and the information that is contained within it.
Q. What should my employee do if he or she has information about the child or abductor?
A. Each alert includes information on the proper authorities to alert and their contact information.
Q. How effective has the AMBER Alert program been?
A. AMBER Alert has been very effective. AMBER Alert programs have helped save the lives of 554 children nationwide. Over 90 percent of those recoveries have occurred since October 2002 when President Bush called for the appointment of an AMBER Alert Coordinator at the first-ever White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children.
Q. How can I get involved?
A. Be on the lookout for AMBER Alert emails, and 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.
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