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Lt. Gov. Steve Pence Announces New AMBER Alert System Enhancement

Kentucky is the seventh state to host the AMBER Alert Portal

Lt. Gov. Steve Pence at the Kentucky Speedway
Lt. Gov. Pence announces new AMBER Alert Portal


Amber Alert Web Portal
National AMBER Alert Portal

Lt. Gov. Steve Pence, along with the Kentucky State Police (KSP) and members of the Kentucky Speedway and AMBER Alert Consortium, announced the rollout of the new AMBER Alert Portal system on May 26. This Web-based communications portal will allow the media and public to readily access real-time information about these alerts via their personal communication devices at no cost.

"The AMBER Alert Web Portal represents one way Kentucky is working to provide law enforcement officers as well as citizens with the most up-to-date information about a missing child," said Lt. Gov. Pence. "This Web-based portal equips officers with the ability to receive critical data almost instantaneously and when minutes, even seconds count--this portal could mean the difference between life and death. We're calling on the public to sign up to receive AMBER Alerts and send the message to kidnappers that if you take a child, we will all be looking for you."

The Kentucky Speedway will play a major role by hosting "The AMBER Alert Indy 300" Indy Racing League IndyCar Series event on Aug. 14.

The event will take place on the same day the AMBER Alert Web Portal System is introduced to law enforcement agencies statewide. The portal will expand the state's current kidnapping network, which broadcasts messages to TV, radio and electronic highway signs, to include cell phones, beepers, Personal Digital Assistants, e-mail, computer desktops and lottery terminals.

"We're honored to be associated with this important initiative that will protect children throughout Kentucky," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "Children are our most important priority and we're proud that Kentucky Speedway can play an integral role in the AMBER Alert Portal introduction."

In the event of a kidnapping, police officers can upload information on the child or kidnapper - including pictures, physical descriptions and the location of the crime - into the AMBER Alert Web Portal from their squad cars. Once the information is approved by the state's AMBER Alert coordinator, it is disseminated to the public and relevant government agencies. The portal features sophisticated hardware and software that enables law enforcement to concentrate their broadcast messages in the vicinity of a kidnapping and expand that area as time elapses. Citizens are a crucial part of the AMBER Alert system's success, providing law enforcement with the eyes and ears they need to gather information and help save a child.

KSP will be able to issue an alert in five to 10 minutes through the portal, approximately 30 minutes faster than the current system. Nearly 75 percent of homicides associated with child kidnappings occur within the first three hours of abduction. Kentucky has issued 11 alerts and successfully located 14 children ranging in age from newborn to 16 years. The state first activated the system on July 23, 2003. The most recent Kentucky activation was on April 20, 2005.

"With this new Web portal and partnership with the AMBER Alert Consortium, the primary design of AMBER is enhanced. AMBER was created to advance the public/law enforcement/media combined efforts to locate abducted children, quickly," said KSP Commissioner Mark Miller. "The enhancements to the Kentucky system, announced today, further the information provided to the public.  It is provided faster, and it is provided in a varieties of ways, allowing the public to advance their participation in helping locate these children."

Arizona, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oregon and Washington have implemented the new AMBER Alert Web Portal, making Kentucky the seventh state to go live. The portal has already resulted in the successful recovery of a kidnapped child in Washington.

Citizens are encouraged to sign up to receive alerts at http://www.AMBERAlert.com.


Republished with the permission of the Lt. Governor's Office


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Last Updated 6/3/2005
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