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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen commemorated Wisconsin's Missing children and adults in a state capitol ceremony today. The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children and Adults produced the program to commemorate Wisconsin's 682 missing children and 296 missing adults.
Attended by families of missing persons and law enforcement from across the state, the ceremony was an opportunity to reflect on those who continue to be missing; to acknowledge their families; and to recognize the ongoing work of Department of Justice staff, other law enforcement professionals, and volunteers to recover missing persons and to provide services to the families of missing persons.
Two programs were outlined; each compliments the efforts of the Clearinghouse and Wisconsin law enforcement.
The first is a partnership between the state of Wisconsin and Outdoor Advertising Association of Wisconsin to place Amber Alert notifications on digital outdoor advertising signs in Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay and Wausau. The message boards have the capability to include photographs, which will serve to enhance Wisconsin's Amber Alert system.
Also, the Crime Alert Network, an initiative of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, was included in the ceremony. The Network will provide local law enforcement with the ability to quickly alert the business community and the general public about crime trends or suspects that may affect them or their business. Businesses with information about criminal activities can report the activity to local law enforcement. This will serve to increase the eyes and ears of law enforcement; leading to more suspects being caught and more missing children and adults being recovered.
In addition, Attorney General Van Hollen presented the following awards at today's ceremony:
Internet Crimes Against Children Awards to:
Wisconsin Clearinghouse Community Awards to:
Van Hollen also acknowledged Bailee Peters, a student at Bangor Elementary School, who was the winner of this year's statewide Amber Alert Poster Contest. Peters received her award on April 22, 2010.
Finally, Van Hollen presented representatives from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America with the Special Services Award. OAAA has a nationwide partnership with the Amber Alert Program to use digital billboards to reach thousands of citizens within minutes of Amber Alert activation. Jeff Golimowski and Brad Yarmark received the award on behalf of OAAA.
For more information about the Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children and the Wisconsin Amber Alert Plan, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Justice home page at http://www.doj.state.wi.us/ and click the appropriate icons on the left panel.