Texas AMBER Alert Network
Amber Hagerman of Arlington, Texas was only nine years old when she was kidnapped and brutally murdered. On January 13, 1996, Amber was riding her bicycle in the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store when a kidnapper threw Amber into his truck and drove away. Outraged over this incident, concerned citizens contacted several Dallas area radio stations, urging child abduction information to be broadcasted in a similar format as severe weather bulletins.
This idea was presented to the Associations of Radio Managers of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, leading to the creation of the first AMBER Alert Program in July 1997. The Texas AMBER Alert community is composed of a state and several independent regional programs. The Texas AMBER Alert Network (State Program) was established by Governor Rick Perry in August 2002, to be managed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Both state and regional AMBER Alert programs provide law enforcement officers with a mechanism for rapid notification of the most serious child abduction cases to the public through broadcasters, state transportation agencies, and the wireless industry by activating an urgent bulletin on television, radio, TxDOT's dynamic messaging signs, and cellular phone text messages.
The goal of an Amber Alert is to instantly prompt the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child. For more information, visit the Amber Alert site.
Texas SILVER Alert Network
On May 1, 2007, the Texas State Legislature unanimously passed the Silver Alert System, which issues a statewide notice of a missing senior citizen. Silver Alert is modeled after the AMBER Alert System and uses the same infrastructure currently used by state and local law enforcement.
This system is designed to inform the public when older people with mental impairments, such as Alzheimer's disease, go missing. State Representative Joe Pickett, D - El Paso, one of the bill's authors, became interested in such a system after the disappearance of an elderly El Paso man revealed no effective way of issuing an alert.
The Texas Department of Public Safety implemented the Silver Alert Network as a means to assist law enforcement in the recovery of missing senior citizens statewide. If the senior citizen, living in Texas, is 65 years of age or older, and has a diagnosed impaired mental condition, a Silver Alert can be issued if the senior citizen’s disappearance poses a credible threat to the senior citizen’s health and safety. Silver Alerts typically resemble AMBER Alerts and use similar notification technologies (with the exception of Emergency Alert System, or EAS) to alert the public.
Texas BLUE Alert Network
On August 18, 2008, Governor Perry signed an Executive Order implementing the Blue Alert Program within Texas. The Blue Alert Program is a means to speed the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously wound local, state, or federal law enforcement officers.
Based upon the successful AMBER Alert and Silver Alert Programs, Blue Alert uses media broadcasts and TxDOT's dynamic messaging signs to blanket the State with information identifying the vehicle of the suspected assailant which will hinder the violator's ability to flee the State and facilitate their speedy capture, helping eliminate the threat they would otherwise pose to Texas communities and other law enforcement personnel.