Congress Poised to Slash Amber Alert Funding

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ChildrenÂ?s lifesaving program may get the axe. National campaign launched to Save our National Amber Alert.

The National Amber Alert plan is in jeopardy. Congress is poised to eliminate funding for National Amber Alert, which is the best tool law enforcement has ever had to bring home missing children. The crisis also threatens to eliminate the programs that support training, development, and coordination of law enforcement investigations for missing children.

In response, the Polly Klaas Foundation has launched a national campaign asking Americans to take action immediately and write their Congressional representatives urging them to support President Bush’s budget recommendations to help missing and exploited children.

Citizens can easily send these letters online using special software tools provided by the Polly Klaas Foundation at this location: http://ga0.org/campaign/save_amber_alert

Last month, two little Kentucky girls were kidnapped by their father after he murdered their sister. An Amber Alert was issued describing the father's car. While driving across Kentucky, a motorist took note of the Amber Alert on several electronic highway signs. After crossing the state line into Ohio, she spotted the father's car and dialed 9-1-1. Ohio authorities quickly arrived on the scene, and after a brief high-speed chase, recovered the little girls.

If we did not have Amber Alert coordination between states' law enforcement agencies, these two little girls might have met the same fate as their sister. These girls are among the 174 children who have been saved by Amber Alerts. Now those alerts and other valuable tools for recovering missing children are in jeopardy.

“You have an opportunity to help save the best tool law enforcement has ever had to bring our missing kids home: the National Amber Alert,” says Paula Skuratowicz, Executive Director of the Polly Klaas Foundation. “We urge people to take action and use our online tools to send a letter to their Congressional representatives and President Bush. We also are asking them to use our tell-a-friend feature and pass on the word about these vital child safety programs.”

President Bush supports Amber Alerts and programs for missing and exploited children in his budget recommendations to Congress.

In direct contrast, the Senate has eliminated funding for Amber Alerts and programs for missing and exploited children in their recommendations. The House of Representatives has recommended under-funding these programs.

Immediate response is critical because the House & Senate conference committee will meet during this current lame duck session to determine the outcome of the funding of these vital programs.

For more information on what’s at stake, please go to: http://ga0.org/campaign/save_amber_alert

The Polly Klaas Foundation is known for their advocacy work to deploy Amber Alerts in all 50 states and to establish a national Amber Alert. The Foundation began the Amber Alert Now campaign in 2002, when only 14 states had Amber Alert plans. Today there are Amber plans in all 50 states.

To date over 174 American children have been brought home safely through Amber Alerts. Now that funding for national Amber Alert coordination is national Amber Alert coordination is in crisis, the Polly Klaas Foundation is calling for each parent and everyone who cares about the welfare of children to act now. Use the online tools at http://ga0.org/campaign/save_amber_alert to write Congressional representatives and let them know that America’s children need to have a national Amber Alert plan.

“This is an especially appropriate action to take during this Thanksgiving season and during the month of November, National Child Safety month,” said Skuratowicz.

Online tools for citizen activists can be found at: http://ga0.org/campaign/save_amber_alert

The Polly Klaas Foundation helps find missing children, prevents children from going missing in the first place, and works with policymakers to pass laws that protect children. The website is located at http://www.PollyKlaas.org.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Contact:

Jenni Thompson

Director of Public Affairs

Polly Klaas Foundation

707-477-5887

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Jenni Thompson
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