OLYMPIA, WA - Washington Governor Jay Inslee is joining the rest of the country in declaring January 13th AMBER Alert Day in the state.
January 13th has been designated as National AMBER Alert Day in recognition of the day 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted from Arlington Texas and discovered murdered days later back in 1996.
The AMBER Alert System was developed in response to her abduction in Texas and spread nationally. Across the country, there have been nearly 700 successful recoveries of abducted children as a direct result of the AMBER Alert System.
The Washington State Patrol has a key role in helping local agencies issue and distribute AMBER Alerts. That includes not only facilitating use of the alerting web-portal, but providing guidance to local officers who might not be familiar with their own or the state's AMBER Alert plans.
For an AMBER Alert to be issued, the situation must meet the following criteria:
· The child must be 17-years-old or younger and known to be abducted not a runaway or a child that has been abandoned/thrown away.
· The AMBER Alert must be issued within four hours of the event.
· There must be enough descriptive information for law enforcement to believe issuing the alert will assist in the recovery of the child.
· There should be indication that the child's life or physical well being is in danger. · The child's disappearance must be investigated by law enforcement.
The AMBER Alert program says more than 700,000 children go missing nationwide every year. 250,000 are classified as Runaways, 150,000 are classified as "Throw-away/Abandoned," 300,000 are classified as Missing / Abducted, and 58,000 are taken by non-family members.