It has been a quarter-century since the disappearance of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Arlington led to a change in how law enforcement treats child abductions and made the public central to returning missing children safely to their homes.
Amber is the name behind the AMBER Alert system, with the acronym standing for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. Started as a local initiative in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex through a partnership between law enforcement and broadcast media there, it spread to include all of Texas in 2002. Since then, 251 alerts have been issued and 263 children have been located, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Some of the alerts issued were for multiple children.