Amber Alert system to be on Internet

Wednesday, July 21st 2004, 10:15 am
By: News On 6

BEND, Ore. (AP) _ Oregon's Amber Alert system is already all over the highways whenever a child goes missing.

Now, it's headed to the Internet.

A new Amber Alert portal _ _ is intended to speed distribution of information about a missing or abducted child to the media and the public.

Via the web-based system, cell phone users could get text messages about any missing children. Information could also come over pagers and personal digital assistants.

``You're putting all of these thousands of eyes out there,'' said Judy Hayes, program manager of the Oregon State Police's Missing Child Clearing House. ``Instead of just law enforcement being able to look for the car, you have the public.''

On average, between 850 and 950 children are missing in Oregon at any given time, Hayes told The Bulletin in Bend.

Overall, Oregon's Amber Alert system has been 100 percent successful so far, Hayes said. Seven alerts have been sent out, and eight children were recovered. One of the alerts involved two children.

Amber Alerts are named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was abducted and killed in 1996 in Arlington, Tex.