Amber Alerts Join Facebook

FB page created for each state

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by Bruce Felps

Nine-year-old Amber Hagerman didn’t live to see the rise of social media or to become a member of Facebook.

Her legacy, Amber Alert, though now has 53 pages on Facebook, one for each state in the Union, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The series of page launches today happens to coincide with the 15th anniversary — tomorrow — of Amber’s disappearance in Arlington.

Facebook users can become a part of the Amber Alert network by opting to “like” the respective pages for their states. When an Amber Alert is issued, a notice of a missing child goes out via the Facebook News Feed.

It makes perfect sense. The initial Amber Alert system came from a cooperation between local law enforcement agencies and the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers back in 1997, not long after Amber’s abduction and murder. Since no one much listens to radio anymore, the alert system needed a new home to reach more people. Nice move.

Now, if there were just a way to get iPods and MP3 players in on the feeds …

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He’s just getting this Facebook thing figured out. OK, not really, he just plopped some stuff out there.

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