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View Full Version : Marc Klaas Calls For An Amber Alert Revision


SeriouslySearching
05-05-2009, 05:58 PM
After watching Marc Klaas on Nancy Grace speaking up about how the Amber Alert is not being utilized in many cases across the country to expedite recovery in abductions, I am hoping he will come here to work with us on having the guidelines revised. It is time for action instead of discussion.

My opinion is the guidelines were never meant to be used as steadfast rules. I have watched many cases where one or more suggested factors of the criteria were not met and the acting law enforcement agencies did not call for an AA. I have also watched children die because the public was not made aware of the missing children immediately.

This needs to change. If the Amber Alert were used properly on a case by case basis without the stringent rules applied to the guidelines, we would give those abducted a fighting chance to be found within the first few hours. A child in immediate danger due to a known abduction should not be excluded because of no vehicle description or lack of the perp's description.

Having the guidelines revised to give LE a real understanding of how it should be used could save more children in the future.

Bravo, Mr. Klaas!! Everything you stated on Nancy Grace (5-5-09) was on target! The message was very clear. I want you to know people are listening and are willing to help in any way to make changes in our Amber Alert system nationwide. Point us in the right direction and we will be behind you to fight for those changes.

elle1919
05-06-2009, 11:21 AM
After watching Marc Klaas on Nancy Grace speaking up about how the Amber Alert is not being utilized in many cases across the country to expedite recovery in abductions, I am hoping he will come here to work with us on having the guidelines revised. It is time for action instead of discussion.

My opinion is the guidelines were never meant to be used as steadfast rules. I have watched many cases where one or more suggested factors of the criteria were not met and the acting law enforcement agencies did not call for an AA. I have also watched children die because the public was not made aware of the missing children immediately.

This needs to change. If the Amber Alert were used properly on a case by case basis without the stringent rules applied to the guidelines, we would give those abducted a fighting chance to be found within the first few hours. A child in immediate danger due to a known abduction should not be excluded because of no vehicle description or lack of the perp's description.

Having the guidelines revised to give LE a real understanding of how it should be used could save more children in the future.

Bravo, Mr. Klaas!! Everything you stated on Nancy Grace (5-5-09) was on target! The message was very clear. I want you to know people are listening and are willing to help in any way to make changes in our Amber Alert system nationwide. Point us in the right direction and we will be behind you to fight for those changes.

Yes SS! We agree on this subject for sure. I too would like to be pointed in the right direction as to how I can be proactive on this topic.....one more child gone is one too many!

daisy7
05-06-2009, 12:31 PM
Thank you, Mark, for all that you do and to SS for starting this thread.

I definitely believe there needs to be more flexibility on issuing AAs on a national level. I also feel that there needs to be consistency on how states/counties issue AAs.

I simply cannot understand why there was never an AA issued for Adji, though I got the one for Haleigh (ironically, during Caylee's memorial service), as both cases did not have a description of the car nor the perp.

Personally, I would rather see more AAs and potentially more saved children, than less! IMHO, anytime a child (especially younger ones) are missing, they are in danger, whether or not they are actually abducted by a stranger!

emmasmom50
05-10-2009, 03:42 PM
I would be willing to help work on this also. I agree the Amber Alert guidelines need to be redone. There is too much time going by before one gets issued, if it does at all. Hopefully Mark can give us some guidance as to what to do.

SeriouslySearching
05-13-2009, 08:54 PM
Lesley Perez, 4 yo missing out of South Texas. Amber Alert did not go out for 7 hours. She went missing at 9:00pm and the AA was issued at 4:00am. They had a limited description of the vehicle and the perp since there were witnesses to the abduction.

Another case where it was ineffective due to red tape and indecision, imo. Something needs to be done!! :furious:

SeriouslySearching
07-16-2009, 06:40 PM
Both the parents and investigators expressed frustration Wednesday that Lindsey had not qualified for an Amber Alert notice when she first went missing. The alert usually requires some sort of suspect or vehicle description, which authorities did not have.

Melissa Baum said the system could have still been used to broadcast Lindsey’s photo and contact information in the first vital hours of her disappearance. She hopes changes can be made to allow for more flexibility in the system, which rapidly distributes missing child information to media and law enforcement throughout the area.

“I definitely think that there need to be some changes,” she said. “The guidelines that the state has are too strict.”

Scott said authorities had to figure out their own sort of public notice, spending a lot of time making calls and distributing information throughout the region. He shares the family’s frustration of not knowing whether an Amber Alert would have made a difference in finding Lindsey.

“In the future, I don’t want to have to wonder,” he said.

http://www.thedailyworld.com/articles/2009/07/16/local_news/doc4a5f687d0cf7a062190395.txt

RoseWhite
10-23-2009, 04:27 PM
This is the day and age of instant mobile technology. WE CAN DO BETTER. The Amber Alarm system can be made so much more powerful if we can use what is already out there. Just think- a simple text could go to everyone's cell phone by their service provider. Think of what that could do to get the information out there.

LookyLu
10-24-2009, 07:10 AM
As those of you before me have stated, a change of the system is long overdue. I don't know how many children we have to lose before something is done but I think it's time we stood up and DEMAND a change. I'm SO angry! :furious: It seems nearly every day we turn on the news and it's another child! GONE! VANISHED! And then....murdered. Thrown in the trash like garbage. ....Or never seen again. And as Rose stated, in this age of instant technology there is NO reason we can't flash a photo and the info we DO have if there is no auto involved! We need to change our AA system! We need to tell our officials that the system in force is just not acceptable any longer. WE CAN DO BETTER! We need to stand up for our children and say ENOUGH is ENOUGH! GRRRRRRR!!!! :rant:

spicedtea
10-24-2009, 10:05 AM
Nine year old Elizabeth Olten left her friends house at 6:15 pm,her parents called the police at 7:00 pm,merely 45 minutes had passed for the crime to have begun. No Amber Alert! If one had been issued IMMEDIATELY, I can't help but wonder if they could have found her in time. The people in the area could have gotten out and searched immediately,they turned out in droves once they DID hear about the missing child. All those people in those woods IMMEDIATELY after she was reported missing....think about it. She may very well still be with us. We need change in the Amber Alert laws NOW!!!!

sniperacer
10-24-2009, 10:45 AM
First, I do not know what the Amber Alert guidelines are. That said, if you "read between the lines" of Marc's statement, I would guess the simple guidelines are: known perpetrator and/or discription, known vehicle license and/or description, and most important, known abduction.

How would you change this? Should we use the Amber Alert for every parent who is worried about the location of their child?

I would not want the Amber Alert system to be overused too the point where it becomes useless.

sniperacer
10-24-2009, 10:48 AM
This is the day and age of instant mobile technology. WE CAN DO BETTER. The Amber Alarm system can be made so much more powerful if we can use what is already out there. Just think- a simple text could go to everyone's cell phone by their service provider. Think of what that could do to get the information out there.

If I got a text alert for every child that is determined "missing" by parents, I would treat it just like a car alarm - ignore it and get away from the noise.

spicedtea
10-24-2009, 12:08 PM
First, I do not know what the Amber Alert guidelines are. That said, if you "read between the lines" of Marc's statement, I would guess the simple guidelines are: known perpetrator and/or discription, known vehicle license and/or description, and most important, known abduction.

How would you change this? Should we use the Amber Alert for every parent who is worried about the location of their child?

I would not want the Amber Alert system to be overused too the point where it becomes useless.

It can be changed by allowing the authorities to issue alerts based on their own best judgement that an abduction has occured and not on hard set rules,such as needing the description of the car and/or abductor. Most kidnappings don't have a witness handy for such information yet a child can still be found if we (the public) know they're missing in the first place.

It needs flexability,if people are alerted to obviously suspect cases,such as the Olten case,they'd be able to choose to act.

I wouldn't want it overused either,but if it can't be used in cases that could benefit from it,then what's the point?

Personally,if some young child is missing in my neighborhood,I'd like to know and have a chance to try to help. If it turns out to be a false alarm,that's fine,but if it isn't,then the chances of finding and saving the child increases.

When a child goes missing,time is of the essence,the faster the general public know,the faster we can help by getting out there and searching.

spicedtea
10-24-2009, 12:20 PM
Oh,I just thought to add something. There's a widespread misunderstanding of the Amber Alert system that is making the situation worse.
Many people think that if a missing child were really in danger that an Amber Alert will be issued. If one isn't,then it must not be a "big deal" missing kid case. They then ignore it,not take it seriously.

The issuance of an Amber Alert has NOTHING to do with how serious a case is,it's based on whether or not there's a *known* description of the abductor and/or vehicle.

So basically the changes Klaas wants would just form the laws into what the general public already think it is.

sniperacer
10-24-2009, 12:53 PM
Around here, most of the Amber Alerts have a vehicle description, license plate, and later we find out they even had a perpetrator name.

Why?

Whenever we see a car type and license plate we know it is because of an simple (ex-)spouse taking the kids due to a family court / custody dispute.

I can not recall seeing any other "type" of Ambert Alert.

IMO, some reform needs to be done.

spicedtea
10-24-2009, 01:18 PM
I agree, the Amber Alert system should never be used for any sort of custody disputes,that would definately destroy the purpose of Amber Alerts.

It should ONLY be used in cases where there is obvious extreme danger involved. If one parent murders the other parent and takes off with the kids,that would be an Amber Alert scenerio,but not in cases where it's a non-endangered "parental abduction".

Unfortunately,parental abductions are often mixed in with endangered missing/abductions and HAVE watered down some prior systems like the milk carton "Have you seen me" ads of the past (Dunno if they're still around).

Such abductions,where the child is NOT in extreme, immediate danger,need a system of their own and ONLY endangered abducted kids should be featured in an Amber Alert.IMO.

coffeetx
10-25-2009, 11:00 AM
I am new to the board so hope you don't mind me jumping in. I just want to say that I was very outraged by a woman police officer who was interviewed on Nancy Grace a few days ago. When asked why there was no Amber Alert issued for one of the recent kidnappings she said that they have to be strict about who gets an Amber Alert and then she said "If the parents want to pay for it themselves fine" and then she said that unless parents want to pay for the amber alerts themselves then they better not expect for every kid to get one . I thought this was horrible.

sniperacer
10-25-2009, 11:19 AM
I am new to the board so hope you don't mind me jumping in. I just want to say that I was very outraged by a woman police officer who was interviewed on Nancy Grace a few days ago. When asked why there was no Amber Alert issued for one of the recent kidnappings she said that they have to be strict about who gets an Amber Alert and then she said "If the parents want to pay for it themselves fine" and then she said that unless parents want to pay for the amber alerts themselves then they better not expect for every kid to get one . I thought this was horrible.

She actually said this? Wow!

I can agree about strict / limiting the number of Amber Alerts. We all know the states are out of money, but the mention of money to purchase an Amber Alert seems pretty brazen. I bet her boss is given her a talking too.

Nice to know I can buy an Ambert Alert. She did not happen to say how much one costs?

Maybe a perpetrator can out bid for an Abert Alert cancellation? The economic possibilities are endless.

Horrible indeed.

coffeetx
10-25-2009, 02:13 PM
Actually she did not say parents could buy one . She said that as of right now they do not put out an amber alert for every parent that wants one, but that if the parents expect that to happen then the system should be changed so the parents pay for it.

LookyLu
10-25-2009, 07:17 PM
I am new to the board so hope you don't mind me jumping in. I just want to say that I was very outraged by a woman police officer who was interviewed on Nancy Grace a few days ago. When asked why there was no Amber Alert issued for one of the recent kidnappings she said that they have to be strict about who gets an Amber Alert and then she said "If the parents want to pay for it themselves fine" and then she said that unless parents want to pay for the amber alerts themselves then they better not expect for every kid to get one . I thought this was horrible.

I saw that too and wish NG had been in the chair that night. I don't think she would have been nearly as polite at the mention of it as the guest hostess....(don't remember her name) but it was Pat Brown who said it. :tsktsk: IMO she should be ashamed of herself.

theforgotten
10-27-2009, 11:34 AM
For some reason I thought that when a child is taken an Amber Alert is always issued. Boy, have I been schooled. In my humble opinion, anytime a child goes missing one should be made then and not a day later. They shouldn't worry about issuing too many.

sniperacer
10-27-2009, 11:49 AM
For some reason I thought that when a child is taken an Amber Alert is always issued. Boy, have I been schooled. In my humble opinion, anytime a child goes missing one should be made then and not a day later. They shouldn't worry about issuing too many.

I think some of the confusion is between "taken" and "missing". Very different with regards to an Amber Alert - but you used them interchangeably.

theforgotten
10-27-2009, 03:25 PM
Sorry, I didn't realize that I had done that!!:banghead:

Tricia
10-28-2009, 01:06 AM
Actually she did not say parents could buy one . She said that as of right now they do not put out an amber alert for every parent that wants one, but that if the parents expect that to happen then the system should be changed so the parents pay for it.


This is still a terrible thing to say. What if a family is poor? Just not right.

Marc Klaas and I had a conversation about the Amber Alert this weekend. He said until the National Center for Missing Children change the criteria for the Amber Alert there is not a lot that can be done.

It is up to the Center to make the change.

believe09
10-28-2009, 01:37 PM
I realize I am reading a**backwards here, but an officer of the law stated someone had to buy an amber alert??? I am sure the criteria has been posted but here it is again:
http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=2813


There is reasonable belief by law enforcement an abduction has occurred


The abduction is of a child age 17 years or younger


The law-enforcement agency believes the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death


There is enough descriptive information about the victim and abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child


The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer
My bold, italic, underline. I suspect that this is where the wiggle room is for most of the un-alerted cases. Clearly under no circumstances is the "cost" supposed to be at issue.

I think the grey area for me is the concept of abduction. If my seven year old disappears from walking home from school with her friends, this is not considered an abduction. At the end of the day, it may have been just that. So what should be done at the moment we have a missing child? What do we want from LE? What makes the most sense?

I suspect this will be decided based upon 99% of the cases vs the 1%-like do most missing child calls end up with a found child inside of an hour or two?

Gonna go back and read now....:blushing:

believe09
10-28-2009, 01:42 PM
Nine year old Elizabeth Olten left her friends house at 6:15 pm,her parents called the police at 7:00 pm,merely 45 minutes had passed for the crime to have begun. No Amber Alert! If one had been issued IMMEDIATELY, I can't help but wonder if they could have found her in time. The people in the area could have gotten out and searched immediately,they turned out in droves once they DID hear about the missing child. All those people in those woods IMMEDIATELY after she was reported missing....think about it. She may very well still be with us. We need change in the Amber Alert laws NOW!!!!

I think this is hard-sure an Amber alert could have been sent out with her description, but would they have found her in the woods with the teen perp (if that were the circumstances) or am I mistaken and there was a vehicle involved and the description was part of the witness statements?

Maybe really what we are looking for is a smaller version of the National Guard-a missing child report is made and 100 people beat feet for the area around where the child was last seen???

eaglemom
10-28-2009, 05:55 PM
I really don't see why there can't be a 'missing child/person" cable channel. Most cable networks have requirements in communities for so much public service. Providing a public service channel. It seems to me since all of this information is already digitized - it could just be put on a loop. Airports could be required to play it 3 hours a day, etc. I am not saying there has to be a whole story - 20 seconds with the child's picture and then another 20 seconds if the picture is available 'aged'.

If a child has just become missing (even if they don't comply with amber alert guidelines) they are still missing. Let's face it, even custodial issues can still place children in danger. The loop could be interrupted and flash traffic inserted for the specific area. This same loop (since it is digitized) could be available through the internet and thus available through a link on a library site, government site, etc.

It really doesn't have to be that hard. If you look at them Jaycee Dugard and Shawn Hornbeck didn't really look all that different. Perhaps if these offenders knew the pictures were out there and being broadcast it would make them think a bit more. I also heard a statistic recently that although many of the people in this country live below the poverty line they still afford cable television (above internet). You can get into a lot of homes through television. People watch sumo wrestling at 1 am they will turn to this channel occasionally and who knows what will happen.

believe09
10-28-2009, 06:34 PM
Here was a situation raised to me offline by another WSer...in MA in a 3 week period, the Herald reported three attempted child abductions in three different towns. When you put the articles side by side, you could see immediately that the description of the vehicle and the driver were essentially the same. I called it in to the towns involved and they were unaware that they each held a piece of this puzzle.

Dude had the same MO as well in terms of approach to a child he singled out-now some kind of state or county wide alert on this would have been nice. Unless you read page whatever where the little blurb was buried, you would have no idea that a creep in a white van was attempting to abduct children.

I am all for some kind of alert regarding things like this and missing children as well as adults-a blurb....something that would catch the attention of the general public in the area.

LogicalMinds
01-25-2010, 10:26 PM
Great topic

Perhaps the "amber alert" could be modified so that when there is no real vehicle/perp description it could still be sent out in a "localized" area??

we now have "silver alerts" for missing older people/altzheimers/developmentally disabled etc....I don't know that their critera is as strict as the "amber alert"...

I think that we could have "amber alerts" for all missing kids and people who choose to get them on their cell phone or computer should be able to "adjust them".. to accept them or reject them based on what they are willing to accept so that our cell phones don't get overloaded with "alerts" not near us etc