Officials recognize AMBER Alert Awareness Day

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - When a child goes missing, police say the first three hours are absolutely critical. A well-informed public can be the most important tool.

Every year, National AMBER Alert Awareness Day is recognized on January 13th. The Amber alert network was created after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and killed in Arlington, Texas in 1996.

"The goal of the AMBER alert is to get the information out to as many people. as quickly as possible. in hopes that the child, a suspect, a suspect vehicle will be located," said Chuck Fleeger, president of Amber Alert Network Brazos Valley.

In 2003, Amber Alert Network Brazos Valley was created as a regional notification system. From there stemmed the Brazos Valley Child Abduction Response Team in 2010. The team trains regularly with emergency personnel in the event that a child goes missing.

"Our goal is to provide public education, as well as law enforcement training and preparedness, in the event that we have a situation that we hope and pray that we actually never get," said Fleeger.

Police say in the event that your child goes missing, to have an updated picture and know what they're wearing.

"One of the primary things we tell parents is there is no waiting period if your child is missing. If your child is unaccounted for and you don't know where they're at…call law enforcement immediately," said Fleeger.

Since the start of the AMBER Alert Program, over 900 kids across the country have been recovered successfully.

On January 13, 2018, Governor Greg Abbott signed a proclamation for Jan. 13th to be known as AMBER Alert Awareness Day across the state of Texas.