Governor Rounds announces statewide ‘Amber Alert’ system in cooperation with news media

Governor Rounds announces statewide 'Amber Alert' system in cooperation with news media The state is joining forces with South Dakota's broadcasters and newspapers to accelerate the distribution of information about any child abducted in South Dakota by creating the Child Abduction Amber Alert.

"Whenever a child is abducted, we want to get accurate, relevant information to all of South Dakota's law enforcement and news media immediately," said Gov. Rounds. "The media can create a burst of publicity so that hundreds of thousands of eyes can be watching for the child, the suspect and the vehicle, and then call law enforcement so that the child can be rescued and returned safely to his or her family."

Whenever a child abduction Amber Alert is activated, a poster with relevant descriptions and photographs will be sent via e-mail and broadcast faxing to law enforcement, news media, state employees, and teachers on the state e-mail network.

Businesses, such as convenience stores, gas stations, motels and trucking companies can also volunteer their e-mail or fax number to be notified. To be on the "alert" notification list, call the governor's office at 605-773-3661 or sign up by going to the state Web page http://www.state.sd.us. Click on "Child Abduction Amber Alert" and follow the listserv instructions.

Rounds said this is an excellent use of coordinated technology.

"E-mail travels instantaneously and the state's broadcast faxing system can send the poster to 120 locations in seven minutes," Gov. Rounds said.

Any local law enforcement officer can call State Radio 24-hours a day to request a Child Abduction Amber Alert from the Division of Criminal Investigation. The request must include credible evidence that a child has been abducted, evidence that the child is in danger, and basic information that can be given to the public.

Rounds explained that the statewide alert system is a compliment to any local Amber Alert systems.

"We just want to make sure there is a statewide system available when local law enforcement believes the child might have been taken outside the local area," he said.

Rounds also praised local law enforcement, the Broadcasters Association, the Newspaper Association, the SD Trucking Association, the Attorney General's Office, Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Information and Technology for working together to create the Child Abduction Amber Alert System.

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