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AMBER Alert program joins Twitter creating wider net to help find missing children

LatinaLista — If Amber Hagerman was alive today, she would be 26 years old. But because she was abducted on January 13, 1996, while riding her bicycle in her Arlington, Texas neighborhood, only to be found murdered two days later, she will forever be remembered as a freckle-faced 9-year-old.

Yet, thanks to her, almost 600 children have not had to meet the same fate as she did. In her memory, the America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Plan or the AMBER Alert was established to get citizens involved in helping to find missing children or runaways.

Long before there was crowdsourcing or social media, concerned communities united for worthy causes. In the years since January 13, 1996, we’ve all learned to tolerate interruptions to our favorite TV shows, radio programs and receiving text alerts, no matter the time of day, knowing a child’s life could be saved.

However, no alert system is complete in this era unless it also includes the online community. In 2012, Google joined the Amber Alert network. Now, in honor of the AMBER Alert’s 18th anniversary, Twitter has joined the network.

With over 49 million Twitter users, @AMBERAlert has the potential to help children get found more quickly — if they can build up their followers.

The Twitter feed is maintained and monitored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children who share with site visitors the many success stories the AMBER Alert program has had in saving lives and bringing peace to worried families, all because — the more eyes on a missing child’s photo, the better the chances someone will recognize him or her.

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