Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen joined Florida’s local, state, federal and private partners to commemorate National AMBER Alert Awareness Day held annually on January 13.
“When a child is abducted or goes missing, every minute counts. Citizen-provided information and tips led to the direct recovery of a child in half of the AMBER alerts activated in Florida cases last year. I would encourage all Floridians to sign up,” Swearingen said.
More than 20,000 citizens have signed up at www.missingchildrenalert.com to receive Florida AMBER Alerts via e-mail.
Last year, FDLE’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse issued 10 AMBER Alerts and 51 Missing Child Alerts. Five children were located as a direct result of the AMBER Alert and eight children were located as a direct result of a Missing Child Alert. Since the program’s inception in 2000, FDLE has issued 218 AMBER Alerts and 73 children have been located as a direct result of the AMBER Plan.
Citizen awareness is vital to the success of the AMBER Alert plan.
On Sept. 3, 2017, an AMBER Alert was issued for an 11 year old female from Apopka. The Orange County Sheriff’s office stated the child was taken by force from the home by a relative. The child’s grandmother, who witnessed the incident, stated the child was assaulted and taken from the residence to a wooded area. The Child Abduction Response Team (CART) was activated to assist the Orange County Sheriff’s Office with a door-to-door search. More than 100 law enforcement officers from several agencies also took part in searching for the child. Because of an alert citizen, who had seen the AMBER notification and contacted law enforcement, the child was recovered safely.
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, visits www.missingchildrenalert.com.