Unfortunately tragedies have highlighted the importance of a cooperative effort among law enforcement agencies, media outlets, and the public in responding to child abduction incidents. This is especially important when you consider a study by the United States Department of Justice, which found that 74 percent of children who were abducted, and later found murdered, were killed within three hours of being taken.
In response to this need, a statewide child abduction notification system was implemented on July 30, 2002. This system, the California Child Safety AMBER Network, is partially modeled after the original Amber Alert Program developed in 1996 following the abduction and murder of 9-year old Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas. Although it is modeled after the plan developed in Texas, California’s plan utilizes several additional resources to aid in the dissemination of child abduction information throughout the state.
The California plan, which addresses issues required as a result of the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 415, requires law enforcement agencies to request activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) in response to a report of a child abduction incident.