News Release: Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey joined Florida’s local, state, federal and private partners today to commemorate National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.
On Jan. 13 each year, the U.S. Department of Justice remembers the abduction and brutal murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman that occurred 18 years ago in Texas.
More than 30,000 citizens have signed up at www.missingchildrenalert.com to receive Florida AMBER Alerts via e-mail. FDLE encourages citizens to sign up to receive these free alerts to help law enforcement quickly recover children when they go missing. Each year, approximately 40,000 children are reported missing in Florida, with the majority of those being reported as runaways.
“Since the inception of the Florida AMBER Plan, FDLE has issued 184 AMBER Alerts and 55 children have been located as a direct result,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “By signing up to receive AMBER Alerts, you could be the key to helping law enforcement find a missing child.”
The FDLE Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse issued 10 AMBER Alerts and 26 Missing Child Alerts in 2013. Three children were recovered as a direct result of an AMBER Alert.
On April 3, 2013, two brothers were abducted by their non-custodial parents from Tampa, Fla. and recovered in Hemingway Bay, Cuba. A member of the public, who sold the parents a boat, notified law enforcement after seeing the AMBER Alert and a member of the media recognized the boat as it landed in Hemingway Bay. Cuban and American authorities worked together to get the children back into US custody and the parents were arrested.
On Oct. 8, 2013, a child was taken by her non-custodial mother from Fort Myers, Fla. and an AMBER Alert was activated. The child was recovered following a traffic stop when a member of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recognized the vehicle after receiving the AMBER Alert.
On Dec. 27, 2013, a Florida AMBER Alert was issued for a child who was abducted by her non-custodial mother in Jacksonville, Fla. On Dec. 29, 2013, Georgia authorities issued a Levi’s Call, Georgia’s equivalent to an AMBER Alert, at the request of FDLE based on information the child was in the state. The child was safely recovered that same day in Perry, Ga. as a direct result of a citizen recognizing the vehicle information contained in the AMBER Alert and contacting law enforcement, validating the effectiveness of this nationwide program.
FDLE, in conjunction with the Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Association of Broadcasters, Inc., established the Florida AMBER Plan in 2000. Florida was the second state in the nation to take the partnership for AMBER Alerts statewide. Since that time, the AMBER Plan has expanded to include billboards, dynamic highway message signs and lottery machines.
To view safety tips on how to keep your children safe, visit http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MCICSearch/SafetyTips.asp
. To learn more about Florida’s AMBER Plan or to sign up to receive alerts, visit www.missingchildrenalert.com.