AG Schmidt, KBI remind Kansans to stay vigilant on Amber Alert Awareness Day

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 11:38 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are reminding Kansans to stay vigilant on Amber Alert Awareness Day.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he and Kansas Bureau of Investigation Director Kirk Thompson are reminding Kansans to stay alert when assistance is needed to help find a missing child. He said the reminder comes on National Amber Alert Awareness Day, Wednesday, Jan. 13.

“When a child is abducted, getting detailed information about the incident out to the public as quickly as possible can be critical,” Schmidt said. “The first hours after an abduction are crucial, and the watchful eyes of Kansas citizens can help save a child’s life.”

According to Schmidt, since the inception of the Amber Alert program in 1996, it has brought 1,029 children safely home. He said in Kansas, 56 children have been safely returned since 2002.

“The KBI is grateful for the collaboration of our many public and private sector partners who assist in deploying Amber Alert information at the critical time of a child abduction,” Thompson said. “In the past, citizen tips have been very valuable in locating kids and suspects, and we know that when communities and law enforcement work together, we have the best chance at safely returning children.”

Schmidt said the Kansas Amber Alert system is coordinated by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and the KBI. He said when an alert is issued, the media are notified to begin broadcasting the details of the missing child and suspect.

According to Schmidt, the program is named after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman and is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement, broadcasters and transportation agencies to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. He said the goal of an Amber Alert is to instantly rally the entire community to help search for the missing child and bring it home safely. Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System to air a description of the abducted child and suspected abductor. He said Wireless Emergency Alerts are also used to quickly let residents in a targeted geographic area know of the situation through their mobile devices.

Additionally, Schmidt said National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also maintains a list of all missing children from Kansas. He said in October of 2019, the KBI also launched a website to feature a current and comprehensive list of all missing persons in Kansas in a searchable format. He said anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a missing person should contact local law enforcement agencies or call 1-800-KS-CRIME.

To find the KBI missing child database, click here.

To find the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, click here.

For more information, click here.

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