Federal Government Closes AMBER Alert Website

Posted: Oct 06, 2013 8:25 PM

The government website for AMBER Alerts, a service dedicated to the safe recovery of missing children, has been closed during the shutdown. The name is a reference to Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered in 1996. Over 650 children have been safely recovered since the advent of the AMBER Alert system.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

AMBER Alerts are broadcast through radio, television, road signs and all available technology referred to as the AMBER Alert Secondary Distribution Program. These broadcasts let law enforcement use the eyes and ears of the public to help quickly locate an abducted child. The U.S. Department of Justice coordinates the AMBER Alert program on a national basis.

Well... not currently. Attempting to access amberalert.gov brings up an error message, saying that the website is no longer available due to a lapse in government funds.

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Not to sound like a broken record, but come on. The domain name has been paid for--the cost of keeping it up has to be very small, if not zero. It's probably even cheaper than blocking off an open-air memorial or barricading a road to ensure private citizens cannot go to their houses.

Although, considering we all heard Sen. Harry Reid's comments on childhood cancer patients, is it really all that shocking that the government shut down something to help missing kids?


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