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History of the AMBER Alert System

In 1996, 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was kidnapped from Arlington, Texas and brutally murdered. Her death had a profound impact on her community. Through the efforts of several organizations, an emergency alert system was developed to facilitate the rapid distribution of information to the public about child abduction incidents. The original method of distribution was over radio networks, but soon expanded to include television, pagers, faxes, emails, cell phones and the Internet. Many jurisdictions throughout the world have chosen to develop similar programs to help in the recovery of abducted children. AMBER Alert programs may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in terms of the criteria used to activate an alert, and the methods used to disseminate the alert, but the general concept remains the same.

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