The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is giving its Samaritan Award to broadcasters and law enforcement agencies in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for developing the "Amber Plan," which uses the Emergency Alert System to find missing children.
The Dallas/Ft. Worth Association of Radio Managers developed the plan in 1996 to recover children that police believe have been abducted. In the case of a suspected abduction, police fax an "Amber Alert" message to two Dallas-based radio stations, who then relay the message to other radio and TV stations using EAS. Broadcasters interrupt their programming every half-hour for the next two hours to broadcast information.
A combined total of 32 radio stations and eight TV stations participate in the program, along with 43 area law enforcement agencies. Oklahoma has implemented the program statewide, and Michigan is beginning to develop it.
The Amber Plan, which has led to the recovery of ten children nationwide, was created in memory of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas. - Paige Albiniak