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Kick-off Event Today: Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 11:00 a.m., LaBrew Military Academy, 4055 North 34th Street, Milwaukee.
MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that Wisconsin schools will be participating in a national poster contest being launched to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the National Amber Alert System, observed Saturday, January 13, 2007.
Wisconsin's Amber Alert Plan, initiated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 2003, is a voluntary effort led by DOJ in association with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Dane County Public Safety Communication Center, state Department of Transportation, local law enforcement agencies, the Wisconsin Lottery and other participating agencies. Working together, these participants make it possible for information to be disseminated rapidly to the public during the first critical hours following the abduction of a child by activating an Amber Alert.
When an Amber Alert is activated, Wisconsin radio and television stations interrupt programming to broadcast information about an abducted child using the Emergency Alert System. Highway message board signs also transmit information about a confirmed child abduction. The additional eyes and ears provided by the public increase the chance that an abducted child will be recovered safely.
"Since 2003, Wisconsin has had 11 successful Amber Alert activations, resulting in the safe recovery of 14 children," Van Hollen said. "The program's success is attributable to the hard work of DOJ's Division of Criminal Investigation personnel, our partners in law enforcement and government, as well as participating media and concerned citizens who respond to alerts and volunteer information."
In association with the 11th anniversary of the National Amber Alert System, several Wisconsin schools have been invited to participate in a national poster contest that provides educational materials for children and parents and promotes public awareness to improve the potential for recovering endangered or abducted children. The contest kick-off event will be held today, Wednesday, January 10, 2007, at 11:00 a.m. at LaBrew Military Academy, located at 4055 North 34th Street in Milwaukee. Participating children will create posters that highlight efforts to reunite missing children with their families, and the winner will receive an award at Wisconsin's Missing Children's Awareness Day ceremony in the State Capitol in May 2007.
The Amber Alert System is named in memory of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, in 1996. Her body was located four days after she was reported missing. She had been brutally murdered. These events inspired Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters to team with local law enforcement, creating a warning system to aid in the search for abducted children.
Visit amberalertwisconsin.org for more information on the Wisconsin Amber Alert System.