The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Department of Justice are teaming with Facebook to create AMBER Alert pages to help in the search for missing children, reports USA Today. There will be a Facebook page for each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “I think it’s really a logical and exciting use of the medium,” said Ernie Allen, president of the center for missing children.
“It’s one more avenue to reach the public and reach the younger generation,” said Laurie Robinson, assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, which is the national coordinator of the AMBER Alert program. Facebook users will be able to opt-in to receive posts in their news feed when an AMBER Alert is issued in their area. “It’s targeted geographically,” Allen says. “You’re not going to be inundated with them.” There are 120 AMBER Alert plans across the U.S. and others worldwide. Each state or territory’s AMBER Alert coordinator initiates the alert through the Emergency Alert System, and the center issues secondary alerts, such as messages on billboards, mobile phones and now, the new Facebook pages. From 2005 to 2009, 98.5 percent of AMBER Alerts cases have been resolved.