Massachusetts Child AMBER Alert

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The Massachusetts Child AMBER Alert is an emergency alert system that helps recover abducted children. Named after Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered in 1996, the Plan utilizes the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to interrupt regular programming and broadcast information that could help recover the child. Information is also broadcast on electronic signs along highways and in airports. In January of 2002, the State Police identified the need for establishing an AMBER Alert program in Massachusetts. As a result of meetings between the State Police, Massachusetts Police Chiefs and Massachusetts media outlets, there was unanimous support for the program.

On October 1 st, 2002, several months prior to the announcement of the national mandate, the Massachusetts Child AMBER Alert became effective in Massachusetts; a period of just nine months from initial consideration to full implementation. This process has taken over two years to come to fruition in other states. The Massachusetts State Police were also instrumental in the development of a regional AMBER Alert program.

Due to the relatively small geographic size of the state of Massachusetts and its close proximity to the other New England states, persons involved in abductions can quickly travel from one state to another. As a result, partnerships have been developed with each of the New England states, and other Northeastern states, to allow for the AMBER Alert to be broadcast in multiple states when necessary. Since the plan was adopted in Massachusetts in October of 2002, a Massachusetts Child AMBER Alert has been activated on fifteen occasions and all twenty-three children associated with these activations have been successfully recovered.