WASHINGTON, DC – NAB is distributing public service announcements to radio and television stations across America that remind listeners and viewers of the vital lifeline served by the partnership between the public, law enforcement officers and local broadcasters through the AMBER Alert Plan. The PSAs will begin airing on January 13 to coincide with the anniversary of the abduction of Amber Hagerman, for whom the program is named.
The PSAs feature America's Most Wanted's John Walsh, whose six-year-old son was abducted and murdered in 1981, and Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted in the summer of 2002 and found alive in March 2003. The PSAs are available to TV stations by requesting a video dub from NAB's National Campaigns department. Radio stations can download audio PSAs from the NAB Web site.
"We are encouraging every station in America to run these public service announcements," said NAB President and CEO David Rehr. "As first informers in communities across America, local radio and television stations are uniquely positioned to disseminate critical information that can save lives. NAB applauds the thousands of broadcasters who have embraced the AMBER Alert Plan as a demonstration of our commitment to serving communities."
The local broadcaster-initiated AMBER Alert Plan is a program dedicated to the rapid recovery of abducted children. AMBER (America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alerts have been credited in the successful rescue of more than 230 abducted children nationwide.
Following the abduction and death of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman in 1996, a group of Texas broadcasters in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area voluntarily developed the AMBER Alert Plan as an innovative way to use broadcast airwaves to transmit emergency information when a law enforcement agency determines that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger.
Broadcasters in other markets and other states soon adopted an AMBER Alert Plan similar to that started in Dallas Fort-Worth after the successful recovery of several children.
In 2001, NAB partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Department of Justice to develop an "AMBER kit" and a campaign which encouraged the development of AMBER Alert plans across the country. Since that time the success of the program has led to the creation of more than 100 known AMBER Plans nationwide. On April 30, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the AMBER Alert program into law under the PROTECT Act of 2003.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.