FDLE Public Information Officer Gretl Plessinger informed Historic City News that each year, on January 13, the US Department of Justice remembers the abduction and brutal murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, for whom the “AMBER” Plan was named.
In 2000, Florida was the second state in the nation to take the partnership for AMBER Alerts statewide; and, since that time, the AMBER Plan has expanded to include billboards, dynamic highway message signs, lottery machines and social networking.
“Sunday is National AMBER Alert Awareness Day,” Plessinger told reporters. “Each day next week, the FDLE Facebook page will feature tips for caregivers and will remind people to take five minutes to sign up for AMBER Alerts online.”
Last year, two children in Florida were safely recovered as a direct result of the AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert.
In March, a 2-week-old infant was abducted from West Palm Beach by a woman who befriended the child’s mother online. An AMBER Alert was issued by the Missing Endangered Person’s Information Clearinghouse after their research identified the suspect; providing information that led to the safe recovery of the child.
In October, a man with an extensive criminal history and outstanding felony warrants forcibly abducted his 1-year-old boy, and the boy’s mother, from North Miami Beach.
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Mauricio Vasconcelos saw the AMBER Alert, spotted the vehicle, and safely recovered the mother and child.
History of the AMBER Alert
On January 13, 1996, Amber was abducted while riding her bicycle behind a grocery store near her Arlington, Texas home. An observer saw her pulled from her bicycle and thrown into the back of a pickup truck. Amber’s body was found in a drainage ditch four days after she vanished, only three miles from the store. Police say her throat was slashed and she had been sexually assaulted. The AMBER Alert was created after her tragic death.
Category: Public Safety