Patrol Launches Upgraded Missouri AMBER Alert System
The Missouri State Highway Patrol has launched an upgraded Missouri AMBER Alert system.
The MSHP says the upgrade streamlines the process to get alerts to the public faster. It includes wireless emergency alerts, automated social media alerts, and a public website, moalerts.mo.gov, which provides the latest information on active AMBER Alerts in the state at any time.
Under state law, the Highway Patrol has responsibility for initiating AMBER Alerts when a missing child meets the criteria set forth in Section 210.1012 RSMo.
A press release from MSHP says the new alert system directly utilizes FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to deliver AMBER Alert messages to cellular carriers, eliminating a step in the previous system, which first delivered alert messages to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for distribution.
Each AMBER Alert will include photos and descriptions of the missing child and suspect, if available.
The Patrol says the new system’s automatic alert updates are designed to reduce the possibility that outdated information will continue to be shared on social media. This new system will also automatically update the Patrol's Facebook and GHQ Twitter accounts, according to the press release.
The Mo-Alerts website allows members of the media and public to sign up for a subscription to emailed AMBER Alerts. Subscribers receive immediate notification any time details contained within an active AMBER Alert are updated.
Anyone interested may subscribe to Mo-Alerts by going to moalerts.mo.gov, selecting “Subscribe to Mo-Alerts” on the left-hand side of the webpage, entering their email address, and clicking on “Subscribe.”
Subscribers will receive a verification email and must click on the link provided to complete the process.
MSHP say many factors affect the speed at which AMBER Alerts reach the public, including cellular phone carriers and broadcaster capabilities and protocolEdit.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol hopes that by streamlining this process and continuously providing up-to-the-minute information, the likelihood of successfully recovering the missing child is increased.
The system has been fully tested internally and on FEMA's IPAWS test servers.