With National Association of Broadcasters president Eddie Fritts looking on,
President George W. Bush Wednesday signed legislation establishing a national
Amber Alert system.
"Amber Alerts are becoming an increasingly important tool in rescuing
kidnapped children," he said. "Every person who would think of abducting a child
will know that a wide net will be cast."
The alert provides for police and media coordination to cut the time between
an abduction and a bulletin alerting the public to the crime.
The alert was started by local broadcasters in the president's home state of
Texas following the abduction and murder of six-year-old Amber Hagerman.
The bill got new impetus after the recovery of Elizabeth Smart in Utah and
her father Ed's very public call for the bottled-up bill to get unbottled.
In fact, Smart was scheduled to attend the ceremony, as well as to sit down with
America's Most Wanted host John Walsh for an interview later this week.
Walsh -- whose own son, Adam, was abducted and murdered -- is doing his NBC
Enterprises talk show from Washington, D.C., May 2 for an episode about the bill's
Walsh was also a vocal advocate for the Amber bill.