The State of Texas is joining the nation in observing National AMBER Alert Awareness Day today.
AMBER stands for "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response," and was named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and murdered in Arlington, Texas, in 1996.
Shortly after Amber Hagerman's death, law enforcement and media representatives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area created the first AMBER Alert program, serving as a model plan nationwide for alerting the public regarding abducted children. Currently, every state in the U.S. has an AMBER Alert Plan, in addition to several countries around the world. January 13 marks the 17-year anniversary of Amber Hagerman's abduction, which the U.S. Department of Justice has designated as National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.
The Texas AMBER Alert Program was established by Gov. Rick Perry in August of 2002, complementing existing local AMBER Alert programs. DPS manages the statewide program and provides law enforcement a mechanism for rapid notification of the media and the public in these serious child abduction cases.
From 2002 through the end of 2012, 93 children have been recovered during 87 DPS activations of the Texas AMBER Alert Program.