This week, the Amber Alert Web Portal Consortium
(the Consortium) announced a pilot program to broadcast Amber Alerts to International Justice & Public Safety Information Sharing Network
(NLETS). In the pilot program, all Amber Alert messages concerning the abduction of a child or children will be distributed through the NLETS network, providing immediate, unfettered access to all federal and state justice agencies across the U.S. and Canada.
In the pilot program, the Consortium will distribute all alerts through NLETS as a foremost priority, insuring that law enforcement agencies are the very first to receive these real-time alerts. In most cases, AMBER Alert messages are activated by the local law enforcement agencies responsible for abduction investigations in the field. Using state-of-the-art geospatial technology, made possible by ESRI, NLETS will allow both interstate and intrastate law enforcement agencies to anticipate an abductor's precise travel progress so that an apprehension plan can be devised that will allow for the safe return of the child.
According to Chris Warner, a co-founder of the Consortium, the relationship with NLETS will bring the Consortium closer to its ultimate goal of ensuring so efficient and seamless a network that no one will ever consider abducting a child again. NLETS has the nation's most extensive network with uninhibited access to every state and federal agency with a justice component, as well as select international agencies. Their role will ensure that justice agencies receive the critical information about abductions quickly and through secure lines. "While we have been successful in the past at transmitting life-saving information regarding abductions, we believe that access to NLETS' network will bring even greater effectiveness," Warner said.
"The Consortium's commitment to saving the lives of children is obvious and we are honored to provide the means to distribute vital AMBER alerts to our subscriber base of several million law enforcement and justice officials in every corner of the U.S. and Canada," Steve Correll, Executive Director of NLETS said. "For over 35 years, NLETS has existed in order to support justice agencies and officials in their mission of making things safer for every American. Like the Consortium, we believe that the safety of our children should be our greatest priority."
"A delay in the timing of an AMBER Alert message can cause confusion or leave law enforcement bombarded with calls from citizens or the media before they are even aware than an abduction has occurred," stated Doug Robinson, Executive Director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). "Every second is precious during an AMBER Alert and NLETS' sophisticated and secure technology is trusted and compatible with the agencies and officials who need the information first. Every one of NLETS' 40 million monthly information-sharing transmissions is given the highest priority by receiving agencies, which makes them a vital player in the AMBER Alert portal and the all-hazard alerting initiative that NASCIO is developing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency."