The Washington State Patrol is reminding both the public and other law enforcement agencies that the AMBER Alert system is in full operation despite the shutdown of the federal government.
“We’re hearing of incorrect reports on both mainstream and social media about the status of the AMBER Alert System,” said Carri Gordon, AMBER Alert Coordinator for the Washington State Patrol. “The system is in full operation, and ready to help recover an abducted child.”
Although there is some federal coordination of the overall AMBER Alert program, each state has its own distribution system for alerts. Washington’s alerts are distributed by a private contractor that is in no way affected by the federal government shutdown.
Newly available in Washington are two additional alerts:
• Endangered Missing Person Advisories – allow law enforcement to seek the public’s assistance in locating missing persons when the disappearance does not fit the criteria for an AMBER Alert.
• Blue Alerts – provide information to the public to help locate suspects involved in assaulting or killing a police officer.
You can sign up to receive AMBER Alerts in Washington by going to www.amberalert.com. Those who sign up will also receive EMPAs and Blue Alerts.