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Amber Alert Awareness Day
Published January 13, 2008 - WCTV News

January 13th is National Amber Alert Awareness Day.

Amber alerts notify the public of missing children. Signs line roads and highways across the country, letting people know when a child is missing.

But not every missing persons case qualifies as an Amber Alert. Investigators have a check list that must be met before an alert is issued.

For example, the child must be 17 years old or younger and it must be verified as an abduction. Elizabeth Bascom an investigator with Tallahassee Police Department's Special Victim's Unit says, "We want these things to be very serious. We want them to look at them and to notice them and if you saw one everyday, I don't think you would pay attention as much."

But not everyone notices the billboards. Kimberly Damron says, "Billboards seem like that would be something useful. I don't know why I haven't noticed that."

Lottery machines printout information on missing children and posters can also be found inside some stores.

Roxanne Hartsock has seen the posters in stores, "I've seen those. Once in a while I go up and look at those."

The Amber Alert program now has new ways for people to help locate missing children. In addition to the billboards and flyers, people can get information sent directly to their cell phones.

For those who sign up, your next text message, may help save a life. Florida adopted an Amber Alert Plan in 2000.

Since then, 125 Alerts have been issued in Florida, and 119 of those children made it home safely. 4 alerts remain in effect.


FDLE's Missing Child Recovery Team Gets Recognized
Published January 13, 2008 - WTXL News

Florida's child missing child recovery team is the first in the nation to receive accreditation. Florida created the child abduction response team, known as cart, in 2005.

The team was made up of law enforcement agencies from across the region, they work together to try to recover a child as soon as he or she is reported missing.

It was the first of it type in the nation and has been duplicated in many other states now it's receiving the top honor.

We heard from the parents of one missing child who wish the team had been around when their son went missing.

"When my 11year old son went missing he would be sitting in the audience today 22 years old you will save children's lives,"

The state is also promoting the amber alert program encouraging people to sign up to get amber alerts sent to them via cell phone or email -- they are also using digital bill boards and lottery machines to get the word out.


FDLE's child abduction response team first to be certified by feds
Published January 12, 2008 - Tallahassee Democrat

When 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce went missing in Dade County in 1995, his parents reported it to law enforcement right away, but it was not enough to help him.

"You cannot imagine the disorganization, the lack of knowledge of the resources that were available," said Jimmy's father, Don Ryce, 64, at a news conference Friday at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement headquarters.

Now there are Amber Alerts and Child Abduction Response Teams across the country so that law enforcement can quickly mobilize all available resources to find an abducted child.

The North Florida Child Abduction Response Team, a multiagency team that responds to reports of abducted children, became the first to receive national certification Friday from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The honor coincides with National Amber Alert Awareness Day on Sunday, which is held in remembrance of Amber Hagerman, the 9-year-old girl who was abducted and brutally murdered 12 years ago in Texas.

"The Amber Alert was named in her honor and has become a lasting tribute," FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said.

In 2007, FDLE's Missing Children Information Clearinghouse issued 11 Amber Alerts. Since it began in 2000, 42 missing children have been found.

The Ryces wonder whether their son might have been saved if these procedures were in place then.

Jimmy was alive for four hours after he was kidnapped at gunpoint from a school bus stop, said his mother, Claudine Ryce, 65. He was shot to death when he tried to escape from the man who sodomized him. The Ryces have created a Web site, www.JimmyRyce.org, to promote the safety of all children.

The North Florida team, called CART, is made up of 38 local agencies, including the Leon County Sheriff's Office and the Tallahassee Police Department. It conducted a full-scale exercise in the Tallahassee area in October as a step in the certification process.

"They plan and practice in advance so that when the real call comes in, the response is rapid, organized and effective," Bailey said. "They know who to call; they know what to bring, and there's no time wasted pulling together the resources to find this missing child."

Assessors from Fox Valley Technical College, contracted by the Justice Department, evaluated the team in their response to a child abduction report.

The first CART program was created in Florida in 2005, and now there are 109 throughout the country, said Phil Keith, program director of the Amber Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative.

Advertisers with the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association have donated space this weekend on 43 digital billboard displays throughout the state, each of which will show pictures of four missing children. In Tallahassee a billboard is displayed on North Monroe Street.

The Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Highway Patrol will use highway signs to encourage people to sign up for Amber Alerts and the Florida Lottery will display similar messages on their 13,000 lottery machines.


Amber Alert Commemoration
Published January 11, 2008 - Capitol News Service

Amber Alerts have saved 42 children across the state of Florida since the program started in 2000. The North Florida Child Abduction Response Team is one of 13 teams across the state that immediately responds and investigates the cases of missing children.

At the Amber Alert Commemoration FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said that alert messages are displayed across the state.

“We’re able to broadcast it statewide or regionally,” Bailey said. “They have signs on the interstates they have signs on the turnpike. The media will actually interrupt it’s broadcast to tell of an Amber Alert. So it’s almost immediate as soon as we have enough information.”

This immediate response was not always the case. In September of 1995 Jimmy Ryce was abducted and murdered. At the Amber Alert Commemoration his parents shared an emotional appeal urging support for Amber Alerts so other parents won’t have to feel their pain of losing a child.

“I believe if yall had been there on September 11th of 1995 when my 11 year old son was taken he would be sitting out there in the audience today 22 years old a member of the team,” Claudine Rice said. “And you will save children’s lives. Because I don’t want another mother to be up here like me.”

As part of the National Amber Alert Awareness Day next week, several agencies including the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association and the Florida Lottery, will display messages about four children that are still missing in the state of Florida.


Amber Alert Awareness Day
Published January 13, 2008 - Tampa Bay 10 News

Tallahassee, Florida - It’s a parent’s worst nightmare…finding out your child is missing.

Florida law enforcement gathered in Tallahassee Friday to commemorate National Amber Alert Awareness Day. Florida’s Amber Alert program started in Florida in 2000. Since then, 42 children have been recovered.

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey accepted the nation’s first CART (Child Abduction Response Team) certification.

“They plan and practice an event so when the real call comes in, the response is rapid, organized and effective. They know who to call. They know what to bring. And there’s no time wasted pulling together the resources to find this missing child,” said Commissioner Bailey.

In addition to billboards and phone calls, Florida law enforcement is partnering up with the lottery to display Amber Alerts on lottery machines.

Click here If you would like to receive Amber Alert messages.


Amber Alert Celebration
Published January 11, 2008 - WJHG News

Amber Alerts have saved 42 children across the state of Florida since the program started in 2000. The North Florida Child Abduction Response Team is one of 13 teams across the state that immediately responds and investigates the cases of missing children.

At the Amber Alert Commemoration, FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said that alert messages are displayed across the state.

“We’re able to broadcast it statewide or regionally. They have signs on the interstates they have signs on the turnpike. The media will actually interrupt it’s broadcast to tell of an Amber Alert. So it’s almost immediate as soon as we have enough information.”

This immediate response was not always the case. In September of 1995 Jimmy Ryce was abducted and murdered. At the Amber Alert Commemoration his parents shared an emotional appeal urging support for Amber Alerts so other parents won’t have to feel their pain of losing a child.

Claudine Ryce is thye mother of Jimmy Ryce

“I believe if yall had been there on September 11th of 1995 when my 11 year old son was taken he would be sitting out there in the audience today 22 years old a member of the team. And you will save children’s lives. Because I don’t want another mother to be up here like me.”

As part of the National Amber Alert Awareness Day next week, several agencies including the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association and the Florida Lottery, will display messages about four children that are still missing in the state of Florida.


FHP Shows Support for AMBER Alert

 

 
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