AMBER Alert Anniversary 18 Years Later

For 18 years -- AMBER Alerts have been helping reunite families with missing children all over the nation-- in Texas-- and even here in Lubbock.
By Joshua Cole Little


LUBBOCK, TX--- For 18 years -- AMBER Alerts have been helping reunite families with missing children all over the nation-- in Texas-- and even here in Lubbock.  

The amber alert system started in 1996,  after a 9-year-old girl named Amber Hagerman went missing in the Dallas area. 

Officially starting in 2002 for the state of Texas, when Governor Perry signed it in.   
The first alert issued was when baby nancy was abducted from her parents in Abilene, Texas. She was later found 130 miles away. 
Since then the AMBER Alert system has been issued 109 times. 

"Since the exsistence from 2002 to 2013 we've had 124 children recovered," said Senior Corporal Gonzalez with Lubbock, Texas DPS.  

Corporal Gonzalez says its because of the amber alert that children have been able to be rescued-- some in a matter of hours. 

"The longer the time goes days... Hours days and weeks you know the less likely we are able to find the child." 

But the real help in solving these cases have come through cell phones-- and the people who pay attention to the alerts. 

"Because we're dealing with short amount of time information. So if we alert somebody and all the sudden they're looking down and you're getting the information and you look up and there's this car and a child that fits this description that's helped us 110 percent." 

Several cases even coming out of Lubbock County. 
Including Pricilla Maldanado-- seven years ago. 

Now Corporal Gonzalez says the best way for law enforcement to work faster is for parents to gather information about their children now.
So if a child should go missing--- the AMBER alert will sound sooner.  

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