Sacto 9-1-1
August 3, 2011
CHP: Sign up to get Amber Alerts on your cell phone

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The California Highway Patrol is urging residents to sign up for a service that sends Amber Alerts to cell phones via text message - one more way residents can help authorities find missing children fast.

The service, which is free regardless of your wireless plan, sends alerts tailored to your area based on the zip code that you provide. You can provide up to five zip codes, and authorities recommend you at least add the zip codes in which you live and work.

To sign up, visit www.wirelessamberalerts.org. Alerts can also be sent in Spanish.

Want another way to get news about abducted children? Yeah, there's an app for that. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has created an application for iPhones that offers a real-time feed of active Amber Alerts, with information about the suspect and the incident.

The application also allows user to view a list of missing children compiled by the NCMEC and organized by states. If a user has information about a case, they can use the application to directly call NCMEC's hotline or send a report that includes the user's current GPS coordinates and their phone number, in case more details are needed.

According to NCMEC officials, applications for other smart phones are currently in the works. In the meantime, a similar application is available for Droid users, though it has no connection to NCMEC.

Still another way to stay informed and potentially help find missing children - Facebook. "Like" the "California Amber Alert" page to get alerts that way, too.

An Amber Alert is an activation of the Emergency Alert System by a law enforcement agency searching for an abducted child. Four criteria must be met before an Amber Alert is issued: there must be confirmation that the child was abducted, as opposed to being missing; the victim must be 17 years old or younger, or have a proven mental or physical disability; there must be reason to believe the victim is in imminent danger of injury or death; and there must be information that, if given to the public, could help lead to the child's discovery, such as a vehicle or suspect description.

Since the Amber Alert program began in California in 2002, 184 alerts have been issued about 223 abducted children. Of those, 218 children have been recovered, and 106 suspects have been arrested, according to the CHP.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About Sacto 9-1-1

Sacto 9-1-1 is a blog on crime and emergency services news in the Sacramento region.

Send feedback on Sacto 9-1-1 to Assistant Metro Editor Anthony Sorci at asorci@sacbee.com

Subscribe to Breaking News Alerts

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Sacto 9-1-1 Q&A

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues. QUESTION: A couple of years ago, a Sacramento tax attorney named Roni Deutch was the target of an investigation by the California Department of Justice. She was accused of bilking clients out of millions and defying a court (Read More)

More Questions and Answers
See all the crime Q&As
Submit your question

April 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      

Monthly Archives


Kim Minugh on Twitter

Follow "Kim_Minugh" on Twitter

Local Agencies on Twitter

Categories