TERRE HAUTE, IND. (WTHI) – Four Amber Alerts. Five children. Seven days.
Between the phone alerts and television reports, they are numbers you can’t and shouldn’t ignore.
As a parent, the recent string of Amber Alerts has impacted the mindset of Brian Grover.
Grover says, “Since becoming a parent I would say they are very important. I mean before, you would see them and not think much about them. But then the thought comes across that, ‘What if it was your child or someone you knew?’”
The system itself relies on the public’s eyes and ears.
There’s a lot of consideration before an alert is issued to prevent people from brushing them off.
Sergeant Joe Watts of the Indiana State Police says, “The child has to be under age 18, has to believe to be abducted and in danger of serious bodily injury or harm or death, there must be enough descriptive information that will lead citizens to help, and it has to be requested by a local law enforcement agency.”
Grover says it is invaluable to a parent that people take the information provided seriously.
Grover says, “It doesn’t take more than a couple seconds to maybe look at a description or a license plate number for another fifteen to twenty seconds, because that might be the difference it takes to get somebody home.”
Luckily, Monday night in Terre Haute the system came through for 17-year-old Madison Lloyd.
Watts says, “It’s a very heart-warming thing that the Amber Alert actually works. We know it does. But when it does it’s just an extra heart-warming thing for law enforcement and the families.”
Only with the public’s help can more cases wrap up with happy endings.
Watts says time is of the essence for issuing Amber Alerts.
He says authorities have a goal of issuing the alert within fifteen minutes from the initial call.
He says the first two hours are critical in the location of a child.
If you believe you see an abducted child or suspect, Watts says it is best to call local law enforcement.
They will be able to assist you most quickly.
As for push alerts to your cellphone, you can get more information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
There is an entire page dedicated to their Wireless Emergency Alerts.