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Lawmakers look to expand use of Amber Alert
The Amber Alert system has been credited in helping to find several kidnapped children this year, but the system is only used in 17 states. Lawmakers are now looking to put the system in every state.
The House passed a measure last Tuesday that would create a nationwide network, while the Senate has already passed a similiar measure. The House measure received votes of 390-24, indicating a likely compromise between the two bills.
The concept behind the Amber Alert system is that law enforcement agencies send alerts to radio and television stations and put these alerts on electronic highway signs. The alerts contain descriptions of the missing children and their abductors, and any other pertinent information that is available.
Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) is one lawmaker in favor of using the system nationwide, making sure every community has Amber Alert in place.
“It is a simple idea in concept, but extremely effective in practice,” Lampson said.
The Amber Alert system is named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped and murdered while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, in 1996.