South Carolina’s AMBER Alert system will be tested this Friday May 24 as part of the nationwide May 25 commemoration of National Missing Children’s Day.
There have been 62 AMBER Alerts issued in South Carolina since its beginning in 2002. The system is a cooperative effort between the state’s law enforcement community and South Carolina broadcasters, allowing quick dissemination of urgent information in child abduction cases. The rapid sharing of information with the public is critical in saving lives of abducted children. The May 24 test will not include SC Department of Transportation signs or the Wireless Emergency Alerts sent to cell phones to avoid any confusion with an actual alert.
The 37th National Missing Children’s Day observance reminds parents, guardians and other family members and friends that there are things they can do to keep their children safe. In honor of Missing Children’s Day, SLED is promoting an FBI-developed application called FBI Child ID, a secure tool that quickly assists police in locating a missing child. Child ID allows parents to electronically store photos and other vital information about their children – such as height, weight, hair color and eye color – that they can access immediately and share with police. The information is stored on the phone, and is not released to anyone until parents send it to the authorities. The free app is available for iPhones and Androids.
AMBER Alert was named for nine-year old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1996. AMBER is an acronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response System. Learn more about the AMBER Alert system on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s website at www.sled.sc.gov.