The California Highway Patrol joins the U.S. Department of Justice in observing National AMBER Alert Awareness Day Monday.
This special day was created to raise public awareness of the AMBER Alert program. The goal of the program, which can be found in every state in the nation, is to instantly spur the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of a child.
The CHP serves as the statewide coordinator for the state’s AMBER Alert system. Since it was implemented in July 2002, California’s AMBER Alert system has been activated in California 218 times, resulting in the rescue or safe finding of 255 children.
“The public has been essential to the success of California’s AMBER Alert system,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Working together with law enforcement, broadcasters, and other government agencies has proven successful in saving the lives of hundreds of children in California for more than a decade.”
California recently saw a change to the AMBER Alert system. The change that became effective January 1, 2014, expands the ability of AMBER Alerts to be activated if a child has been taken by anyone, regardless if an actual abduction is involved, and the agency believes the child is in threat of serious bodily injury or death.
“An AMBER Alert is a call to action,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Not only is law enforcement engaged in the safe recovery of the child, but there are thousands of other eyes and ears aiding in that search.”
The public can get involved during an AMBER Alert by listening to television and radio reports, paying attention to changeable message signs along the highway, which display information about the abductor’s vehicle and license plate number, and keeping an eye out for the suspect vehicle.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.