SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – You may have noticed some strange sounds on your TV or radio Sunday. It may have been the testing of the Amber Alert system which was conducted as part of National Amber Alert Awareness Day.
Since 1996, law enforcement, broadcasters and the public have teamed up to try to find missing children. Since the Amber Alert began in 500 kids have been found nationally. Here in Utah, 17 children have been returned to their families.
“The Amber Alert program has been an amazing success,” said Paul Murphy, Utah Amber Alert coordinator.
Now more than ever Amber Alerts are reaching more people faster and in a number of different ways-- from texts, social media to RSS feeds. The coordinator for Utah's Amber Alert program says that's key. According to Murphy, three out of four abducted and murdered children are killed within the first three hours of going missing.
Just this week, Utah saw the power of getting information on missing children out quickly with the search for 13 year-old Brooklyn Gittins of Herriman. Not an Amber Alert, but a similar “Endanger Missing Advisory” went out and within days Brooklyn was found safe.
“I was worried, the fact that she was gone as long as she was I think a lot of people thought she was gone and so the fact that she's alive today is awesome,” said Murphy.
If you would like to receive Amber Alerts on your phone, click here