This issue explains how virtual (online) training is maintaining the AMBER Alert Program during the COVID-19 pandemic, describes how Utah’s improved AMBER Alert plan assisted in recovering an infant from stranger abduction, describes AMBER Alert activities in Indian Country, and provides brief accounts of significant events and successes in AMBER Alert operations nationwide and internationally.
The account of AMBER Alert virtual training notes that virtual, instructor-led live training has been maintained through a virtual platform that ensures child-protection professionals’ needs continue to be served. Examples of the evolution and modification of training under this delivery method are described. A case study of Utah’s newly fine-tuned AMBER Alert system provides one example of the logistics that have resulted in all seven of Utah’s AMBER Alerts in 2020 being safe recoveries. AMBER Alert news from Indian Country describes the Navajo Nation’s success with its first independently issued AMBER Alert. An AMBER Alert personnel profile focuses on Corporal Shawn Kofluk, the Pennsylvania Missing Persons Clearinghouse Manager and AMBER Alert Coordinator. In an interview, he discusses what is unique to Pennsylvania’s AMBER Alert and Missing Persons Program, as well as what he views as critical in their success and how Pennsylvania’s and other AMBER Alert programs might be improved. “AMBER Alert Briefs” include an account of a U.S. hacker’s claim that he can access and provide communications to U.S. and Canada emergency alert systems; a parent’s plea in Louisiana that an AMBER Alert system be in place to respond to missing children from poor communities; and how infrastructure upgrades in Las Vegas may make AMBER Alerts more effective. “AMBER Alert International” reports on Canada’s continued testing of its emergency alert system, European missing persons organization’s increasing membership and its work on long-term missing cases.