February 11, 2005

AMBER ALERT BILL REINTRODUCED BY CRAPO, OTHERS

Washington, DC - Federal assistance for a voluntary program to help locate missing children is a priority that should pass this Congress, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo has joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to reintroduce S. 121, the â??AMBER Alert Network Act.â?? Similar measures passed in both the House and Senate last year, but time ran out before the differences between the measures could be worked out.â??As a parent, I feel the establishment of an AMBER Alert system is a priority,â?? said Crapo. â??This program will provide half the funding for voluntary alert systems in Idaho and other states that do not now offer them. Law enforcement and parents have rallied around this concept because most missing children are found by people who notice a picture or see an advertisement.â?? Crapoâ??s web site last year was one of the first in Congress to begin featuring the pictures of missing children. Crapo acknowledged some issues regarding a statewide AMBER Alert system for Idaho still need to be worked out. His office has been assisting with local funding and broadcast liability issues in Idaho, but Crapo praised the initial efforts of Madison County, the City of Boise, and the Idaho Attorney Generalâ??s office for their startup work on an AMBER Alert system. The new bill contains at least $25 million in matching grants targeted at voluntary transportation programs and signage, as well as coordination between states. "The Amber Alert program can save kids' lives," Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. "I appreciate Mike's leadership in sponsoring this bipartisan legislation and I'm committed to implementing a statewide AMBER Alert program here in Idaho. I hope the Congress will pass this bill and I look forward to working with the legislature and local law enforcement to make this program available throughout our state."The introduction of this yearâ??s AMBER Alert efforts coincides with the 7th anniversary of 9-year old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and later found murdered in Arlington, Texas. President Bush has pledged $10 million for training and equipment upgrades to assist states, but the bill supported by Crapo and others could produce a more coordinated national effort and response to AMBER Alerts issued for missing children in any state. Crapoâ??s comments on the AMBER Alert Network Act are available via satellite:1:45-2:15 p.m. Mountain / 12:45-1:15 p.m. Pacific TimeC-BandGalaxy 3Transponder 7 HorizontalDownlink 3840Audio 6.2. & 6.8FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. If you encounter any difficulties with the system, please contact Susan Wheeler at the above number. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.# # #