Amber Alert: what it means for law enforcement, families

CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Locating and returning kidnapped kids became easier in the mid 90’s with the start of the Amber Alert System.

Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott says locating 5-year-old Baylee Elizibeth Eminson took all night and part of the morning, but things could have been a lot harder if the Amber Alert System wasn’t in place.

“A lot of time could’ve been lost without the Amber alert system,” said Scott.

Time is something law enforcement can’t spare when a child is in a potentially dangerous situation.

Scott says Baylee Elizabeth Eminson is a good example.

“Last night around 10:30 we received a call of a child that had been taken. So from there it was an all night affair. There were several different agencies working together and also going through the Amber Alert system,” said Scott.

After a 9-year-old girl was kidnapped in Texas in 1996, the America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response system was born.

Since then, it’s been instrumental in locating and returning kidnapped children.

“The Amber Alert is an awesome system because it’s probably one of our biggest resources in our toolbox when it comes to missing persons,” said Scott.

Once the alert goes out statewide, Scott says the number of people looking for a child reaches into the thousands.

“Just the response time. Once you meet the criteria for the Amber alert. Once it gets out there once it gets out there we immediately started receiving calls so again when you get the public involved it’s the most valuable resource we can have,” said Scott.

Research shows more than 200,000 children are kidnapped each year.

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