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NAB bows alert system for missing kids

AMBER instituted in more than 20 states so far

WASHINGTON — The National Assn. of Broadcasters (NAB) on Wednesday joined with advocates and law enforcement authorities in officially launching an emergency broadcasting alert system for missing children.

The campaign — America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response or AMBER — was organized by the National Center of for Missing & Exploited Children, which is headed by “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh.

Broadcasters signing up to use the voluntary AMBER program will be given a list of procedures to use in the event law enforcement officials call to say that a child has been reported missing. Beginning Wednesday, free kits detailing the plan are being delivered to broadcasters and police nationwide.

Already, stations in more than 20 states have instituted AMBER. Walsh, whose son Adam was abducted and murdered, said as a result 16 children have been recovered.

“When properly implemented this can be a powerful tool for protecting children and saving lives,” NAB prexy-CEO Eddie Fritts said. “Broadcasters and local officials everywhere need to look closely at how the AMBER plan can work in their community.”

Walsh urged broadcasters everywhere to institute AMBER, chiding the media for sometimes ignoring the issue of abducted children.

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