Lansing, Michigan – Michigan AMBER Alert Awareness Week will take place Sunday, May 19 through Saturday, May 25. This year marks the second year for the statewide AMBER Alert Awareness Week that touts the importance of AMBER Alert. AMBER Alert Awareness Week was organized to promote awareness of the Michigan AMBER Alert Program, provide information about the program and to raise funds through the Michigan AMBER Alert Foundation (MAAF) to help support the program’s ongoing mission to recover abducted, missing, and endangered children.
Since its inception, the Michigan AMBER Alert Program has been activated 327 times and has helped to recover 321 children. To date, six children are still missing. Thousands of children go missing every year, yet on average only 30 of them meet the AMBER Alert criteria set up by Missing and Exploited Children and adopted by the state of Michigan.
In 2001, legislation was passed creating the Michigan AMBER Alert Program, yet no funding source was ever identified. A public private partnership was formulated between Michigan State Police, the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters to form Michigan AMBER Alert.
With the ongoing financial support of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, AT&T, Michigan State Police and many others, MAAF has been able to re-build its AMBER Alert portal which is used by law enforcement to request and issue AMBER Alerts. The MAAF has raised nearly $100,000 to help fund the program, however, more funds are needed to continue to fulfill the mission of the program and to institute an ongoing training program.
“The Michigan AMBER Alert Foundation is a critical component in keeping our children safe by ensuring that AMBER Alerts are broadcast quickly throughout the state and children are returned safely to their homes,” said Ellyn Davidson, MAAF President and managing partner for Brogan and Partners Communications. “Essential funding is needed in order to run the program, and that is where the foundation and their fundraising efforts come in. We all need to work together to accomplish this goal.”
According to Karole White, President/CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, “AMBER Alert activations call upon every citizen who sees or hears the message to become the helping eyes and ears of law enforcement to recover an abducted child. Michigan is committed to its children and AMBER Alert is committed to helping to keep them safe if bad things happen.”