Jan. 13th marks AMBER Alert Awareness Day in TX

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared Jan. 13 as AMBER Alert Awareness Day, a day marked in remembrance of an abduction that happened exactly 21 years ago.

In 1996 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered near her home in Arlington, Texas.

Back then, there was not a system in place to alert the public about a missing or abducted child.

The Department of Public Safety says that led law enforcement and the media in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to create the first AMBER Alert program.

AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.

DPS picked up the program statewide in 2002, and since then it has possibly saved the lives of 154 Texas children.

DPS officials say this system is a pivotal too, and they are grateful to the people of Texas who help protect our children.

Many parents agree.

"It's too hard to imagine, to put myself in that position, but it's also what makes me want to have the AMBER Alerts in case it does ever happen then I can get help," said one dad.

"I think it's important because it gets the public's awareness out faster, so you can find the children and get them home safe a lot quicker and efficient," said one mother of two.

Many of us get these alerts on our cell phones.

One Wichita Falls dad told me he does and is sure to read them.

He says that information is valuable. Even if there is just a small chance he will run across the missing person, the alert can save a life.

DPS officials say if your child goes missing or you fear they may have been kidnapped, immediately call your local law enforcement agency to file a missing person's report.

Investigators will want a picture of the child, a description of what they were wearing the last time you saw them and any information that could help police find the child or the kidnapper.

All 50 states and several other countries also have an AMBER Alert program in place.

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