Florida plans to send “Amber Alerts” in child abduction cases to desktop computers, personal digital assistants, and pagers or cellphones capable of getting text messages, the Miami Herald reports. “This is such a powerful tool,” Gov. Jeb Bush said yesterday about the computer program and 40 additional billboards that will feature missing children.
To get the alerts, people sign up at the state’s Amber Alert website, www.missingchildrenalert.com.
“I think it is a tremendous use of technology,” said Howard Talenfeld of Florida’s Children First!, an advocacy group. “This should dramatically contribute to the ability [of authorities] to locate missing children.”
The state has issued 49 Amber Alerts since the program began in August 2000. The recoveries of nine children were attributed to the alert. Another 38 were recovered through other means, and two remain missing.