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FACEBOOK TO ISSUE AMBER ALERTS-MITCH MORRISSEY, DA

posted Mar 13, 2013, 3:35 PM by Alamo Placita   [ updated Jan 14, 2015, 3:45 PM ]


From District Attorney, Mitch Morrissey

 

Facebook to Issue Amber Alerts


Happy New Year! I am starting the new year with good news about a new partnership between Facebook and the people who issue Amber Alerts for missing children. This is not typically a topic I would include in my monthly newsletter but it is a great opportunity for those who use Facebook to help others.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children now posts Amber Alerts on Facebook's news feed, including a photo of the missing child and the location where the possible abduction took place. The posts are targeted by location, so one will only see alerts about nearby incidents.


Emily Vacher is Facebook's Trust and Safety Manager, and helped put together the Amber Alert collaboration. "We were actually really inspired by people who already use Facebook for this purpose," Vacher says. "We've noticed over the last couple of years that when kids go missing, people started posting about this on their Facebook pages to share information within their own communities. And we saw a lot of successes out of this. Kids have actually been brought home because of the information people shared on Facebook.”

 

"Amber" stands for "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response." The alerts arose from the 1996 abduction and murder of Amber Hagerman, 9, in Arlington, Texas. So far, these alerts have helped save 728 children, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


 "Amber Alerts are very rare occurrences," Vacher says. "So when you see one of these on Facebook, take a couple of minutes to read the alert, to share the information with your friends and family, and just pay attention to your surroundings, because a tip that you may find may actually result in reuniting a child with their family."


 In Colorado, Amber Alerts already ring on cellphones and flash on highway billboards as well as TV and radio broadcasts, but Facebook is the first social media site to work directly with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

And remember, I provide presentations on fraud, ID theft, and scams to organizations, associations, church groups and others who would benefit from these topics.  Feel free to contact me to schedule something for your next meeting.  I hope 2015 proves to be a healthy and safe one for you and your family. 


 


An example of what Facebook's Amber Alerts will look like.Courtesy of Facebook As always, if you suspect you have been scammed, please call us to report it at

Denver DA’s Fraud Line: 720-913-9179