Ontario AMBER Alert and Social Horse Power Team Up To Help Quickly Locate Missing Children
- Digno LalussisApril 20 2015
Your Facebook Profile Could Help Save an Abducted Child
No one wants to think it will happen to their child. We teach our children not to talk to strangers, to call or yell if someone tries to abduct them, or to ask for the “family secret password” to know the person truly is who they say they are. Unfortunately, even when we teach them about “stranger danger,” children go missing more often than you think.
In fact, more than 50,000 children are reported missing every year in Canada. Even though most parents emphasize not to talk to strangers, the vast majority of children who go missing are actually runaways. When a child is actually abducted, the abductor is often someone the child knows, whether it be a parent, the babysitter, or a close family friend. It’s important to note, that even though the child knows their abductor doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe.
When police are notified of a missing child and believe the child has been abducted and is in danger, AMBER Alerts are utilized to notify the public through various media outlets and corporate partners.
About AMBER Alert
The brutal kidnapping and murder of 9 year-old Amber Hagerman in 1996 was the catalyst for the creation of AMBER Alert. The system has been adopted elsewhere, providing to be a vital resource for retrieving abducted children. Through a partnership among the Ontario Association of Broadcasters, law enforcement, Ontario Ministry of Transportation and a variety of other private sector partners, the Ontario AMBER alerts notify the public of a child abduction case where police believe the child is in danger of harm.
What To Do If Your Child Goes Missing
When a child goes missing, it’s important to notify the police. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the first 3 hours that a child is missing are critical. To parents’ relief, AMBER Alert is a powerful tool for finding and retrieving abducted children in Canada. According to Sergeant Steve Montpetit, AMBER Alert Coordinator with the Ontario Provincial Police, since 2004, Ontario has issued 33 AMBER alerts. The program underwent a review in 2009 which resulted in some changes being made to the program guidelines. Since 2009 Ontario has issued 19 AMBER Alerts which have resulted in the successful recovery of 25 children.
Amber Alert Now Partnering with the Community to Spread Alerts through Facebook
AMBER Alert Ontario is proud to announce an enhancement to the social media component of their alerts. The general public can now volunteer to help spread AMBER Alerts through their Facebook profiles. With people of all ages spending three times the amount of time on Facebook than any other website in the world, Facebook is a valuable, untapped resource for spreading these alerts. By giving people the ability to instantly share Amber Alerts to their profile, each AMBER Alert will reach more people than ever before.
To opt-into the program, the general public should visit this page and register. When an AMBER Alert is deployed, users will be notified and given the ability to share it to their Facebook profile for their network to see. There is no cost for the service, and it’s important to register now so you’ll be able to share the next AMBER Alert.
In This Together
No one ever wants to believe that their child could go missing, but with most abductions involving people the child knows, even the most strong-willed or vocal children can easily become a target for abduction.
If your child were ever to be abducted, you would hope that the community would help and support your search efforts. Now, you have the ability to help the families who are living your worst nightmare: their child is missing.
Together as a community, we can use the power of social media to spread an alert faster and to more people than ever. Register today to help share AMBER Alerts through your Facebook profile: https://www.socialhp.com/amber-alert-ontario.
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