On September 10, the Senate passed, by voice vote, a bill (S. 2896) that would accelerate the development of the AMBER alert system, the nationwide network system used to help recover abducted children. In addition, the bill would establish a national coordinator at the Department of Justice. This coordinator would be responsible for developing the local and state systems and issuing regional alerts.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) noted, “It is important that we enact this bill…because there is no telling how many children could be helped if we had this in place and ready to go.”
Agreeing with Sen. Hutchison, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) added that since the AMBER alert’s beginning, “it has been credited with the return of 30 children to their families.”
The AMBER alert system was implemented in 1996, after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Tex. Currently, the AMBER alert system is active in 16 states and 32 local and regional jurisdictions.