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Van Hollen encourages use of Twitter to help kids

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is encouraging Wisconsinites to follow @AMBERAlert on Twitter after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children the launch of the Twitter handle for the AMBER Alert program.

“Social media sites are playing an ever increasing role in the rapid spread of important information, and this is one more tool to help us locate missing children when time is critical,” Van Hollen said. “I encourage people who use Twitter to follow the @AMBERAlert handle and to help law enforcement in these urgent situations.”

When an AMBER Alert is activated in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation notifies the Dane County Public Safety Communication Center, which sends the alert to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for secondary distribution, which now will include Twitter.

Here in Wisconsin, the AMBER Alert has been activated 23 times since the program began in 2003, and has safely recovered more than 30 children. Wisconsin’s Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children & Adults at the Wisconsin DOJ coordinates Wisconsin’s AMBER Alert Program. The program is a collaborative effort among the DOJ, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Wisconsin Public Radio, Dane County Public Safety Communication Center, Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, State Emergency Communications System, Outdoor Advertising Association of Wisconsin and local law enforcement agencies.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 600 children have been rescued since the AMBER Alert program’s creation in 1996.