Oaks: Missing-Children Alert Program Enhanced

December 2, 2004

New York’s AMBER Alert System designed to notify the public of missing or abducted children has been strengthened under provisions of a new state law, according to Assemblyman Robert Oaks (R-Macedon). AMBER stands for "America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response."

Oaks said the measure, approved by the state Legislature and Gov. George Pataki earlier this year, provides more effective tools to help safely return missing children by allowing the dissemination of AMBER alerts via e-mail and text messaging.

The AMBER alert is then broadcast through the Emergency Alert System and a 24-hour electronic messaging system statewide to radio and television stations, which periodically interrupt their regular programming to publicize the notice.

Assemblyman Oaks said the new law now authorizes the state to use modern communication technologies – namely e-mail and text messaging – in its efforts to enhance the AMBER Alert System.

"With the use of electronic mail and text messaging technology, the state will greatly enhance the success of the AMBER Alert System," Oaks said.

Those interested in receiving AMBER Alert notices via e-mail may register on the Division of Criminal Justice Services Web site at www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us.

Individuals may contact Assemblyman Oaks’ district office at 10 Leach Road, Lyons, NY 14489 or call (315) 946-5166.