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Kansans urged to stay vigilant when notified of missing children on National Amber Alert Awareness Day

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:29 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - In observance of National Amber Alert Awareness Day on Jan. 13, the Kansas Attorney General and KBI Director have reminded Kansans to stay vigilant when notified of missing children.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he and Kansas Bureau of Investigation Director Kirk Thompson want to remind Kansans to stay alert when the public is notified of missing children. He said the reminder comes as National Amber Alert Awareness Day is observed on Thursday, 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.”

Since it was founded in 1996, Schmidt said the national program has successfully brought 1,085 children home safely. In Kansas, he said 64 children have been safely returned home 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.”

The AG said the Kansas Amber Alert system is coordinated by his office and the KBI. When an alert is issued, news outlets are notified to start broadcasting details of the missing child and suspect.

Schmidt said the Amber alert program, named after Amber Hagerman, 9, is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters and transportation agencies to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases.

The goal of the Amber alert is to instantly notify the entire community to help in the search for and safe recovery of the child. He said news outlets use the Emergency Alert System to air a description of the abducted child and suspected abductor. Wireless Emergency Alerts are also used to quickly notify residents in a targeted area through their cell phones.

In addition to the Amber Alert program, Schmidt said the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children keeps a list of all missing children from Kansas.

In October 2019, Schmidt said the KBI launched a website that features a current comprehensive list of all missing persons - adults and children - in Kansas in a searchable format.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of any missing person should contact their local law enforcement agency or call 1-800-KS-CRIME.

To see the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s list of missing Kansas children, click HERE.

To see the KBI list of missing persons, click HERE.

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