Communities embracing National Amber Alert Awareness Day - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Communities embracing National Amber Alert Awareness Day

SPOKANE, Wash. - Since its inception in 1996, almost 400 children have been brought home safely through the AMBER Alert program. On January 13, communities across the country observe the day to recognize the collaborative efforts and successes of the program to find abducted children.

On January 13th, 1996, 9-year old Amber Hagerman was kidnapped while riding her bike in Arlington, Texas. Neighbors who heard the little girl's screams were able to give a description of the suspect to police, but with no organized alert system, the information didn't reach the public in time.

Her body was found four days after the kidnapping.

Amber Hagerman is the reason the National Amber Alert system exists today. Law enforcement officers say AMBER Alerts are vital in finding children who have been abducted. Almost 400 children have been brought home safely through the program.

With things like electronic billboards and the world wide web, technology helps this program every year. Whenever an alert is issued it can be seen flashing everywhere from road signs to television screens.

This year authorities are urging all wireless subscribers to sign up for wireless alerts at wirelessamberalerts.org.

Click here to sign up for free Idaho AMBER Alerts via cell phone or email.

Click here to sign up for free Washington AMBEr Alerts via cell phone or email.

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