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ATTORNEY GENERAL J.B. VAN HOLLEN ANNOUNCES WISCONSIN SCHOOLS TO PARTICIPATE IN AMBER ALERT POSTER CONTEST

 

"Bring Our Missing Children Home" Theme of This Year's Poster Contest

 

MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that Wisconsin schools will be participating in a national poster contest being launched to commemorate National Amber Alert Awareness Day, which will be observed on January 13, 2009.

 

Each year the United States Department of Justice sponsors a national poster contest and announces the winner at the annual National Missing Children's Day Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Wisconsin 5th graders schools participating in the event will have the opportunity to submit their winning poster for judging. The Wisconsin Department of Justice administers a Missing Children Clearinghouse, which coordinates efforts on behalf of Wisconsin's missing persons. Wisconsin's Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children & Adults has developed and coordinates the process for Wisconsin's statewide poster competition.

 

Completed posters should be sent to the Wisconsin Department of Justice as noted below:

 

Susan A. WhiteHorse, Manager
WI Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children & Adults
Wisconsin Amber Alert Coordinator
17 W. Main St.
PO Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857

 

Each state's Missing Children Clearinghouse will then submit the single winning state poster to the U.S. Department of Justice for final judging. The national judging will take place in April 2009, and one national poster contest winner will be selected.

 

The theme for this year's poster contest is "Bring Our Missing Children Home."

 

Wisconsin's Amber Alert Plan, initiated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 2003, is a voluntary effort led by the Department of Justice 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 16 successful Amber Alert activations, resulting in the safe recovery of 22 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."

 

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 http://www.amberalertwisconsin.org for more information on the Wisconsin Amber Alert System. If you have any questions or need additional information on the poster contest, please contact Darla Waldron of the Wisconsin Department of Justice at (608) 266-0335 or e-mail at waldondj@doj.state.wi.us.