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Amber Alert is 10 years old in California, has helped hundreds of children

July 23, 2012 | 10:35 am


State officials celebrated the 10-year anniversary of California's Amber Alert system in California on Monday, noting it has helped reunite 234 abducted children with loved ones .

Originally started in the 1990s in Texas after the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman in that state, the use of  public  bulletins, including those posted electronically on roadside signs, has spead to other states and  countries.

The system has drawn some complaints in California from those who say the roadside bulletins have the effect of snarling traffic.

But state officials say posting the descriptions of abducted children and the cars believed involved has saved children.

Those participating in the celebration at CHP headquarters Monday included Board of Equalization member George Runner, a former state senator who authored the legislation that created California’s Amber Alert system.  “The state of California needed a system to assist in recovering our children safe and sound,” Runner said.


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Photo:  An AMBER alert for a missing child goes out in 2002, its first year in California. Credit: REUTERS/Fred Prouser