The launch of the AMBER Alert Highway Network-- aimed at helping recover abducted children quickly and safely-- was announced today by Qualcomm Inc. in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Qualcomm said the network would redistribute AMBER Alerts on abducted children directly to truck drivers to significantly broaden the audience of those who can help find these children. The new initiative, which has the support of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), holds the potential to enlist the eyes and ears of thousands of truck drivers to help rescue children nationwide.
“Qualcomm is proud to use our satellite-based mobile communications and location-based services to work with NCMEC, trucking companies and their drivers across the country to help locate abducted children,” said Joan Waltman, president of Qualcomm Wireless Business Solutions. “We encourage fleets to learn more and join the AMBER Alert Highway Network so that even more of America’s professional truck drivers can participate. There’s no more noble cause than the search for and recovery of an abducted child.”
Initial members of the AMBER Alert Highway Network include Wal-Mart; Tyson Foods, Inc.; Omaha, NB-based Cornhusker Motor Lines, Inc.; bulk liquid commodities carrier Distribution Technologies, Inc.; regional transportation company G&P Trucking; Chattanooga, TN-based U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc.; national transportation and brokerage company Pottles Transportation, Inc.; and tanker specialists Grammer Industries Inc. Combined, these companies dispatch more than 20,000 drivers across the country every day.
Secondary methods of distribution such as Qualcomm’s initiative (which delivers AMBER Alerts via onboard OmniTRACS mobile-communications systems) assist in achieving the overall goal of the AMBER Alert program – to notify as many people as possible about a recent child abduction and provide information that can help in the search for the abducted child, suspected abductor, and/or suspected vehicle, and in the safer return of the child.
For drivers to receive AMBER Alerts through on-board communications systems, their carriers must be enrolled in the AMBER Alert Highway Network. For more information about the AMBER Alert Highway Network and how to enroll, go to www.qualcomm.com/qwbs or call 800-348-7227.
“Truck drivers have already proven to be a valuable asset in monitoring the nation’s roads for missing children,” noted Ernie Allen, president & CEO of NCMEC. “Qualcomm’s mobile-communications solution helps increase the reach, and therefore the effectiveness, of AMBER Alerts. Just one driver knowing what to look for on the road could assist law enforcement in the safer recovery of an abducted child.”
Every state in the U.S. has a statewide AMBER Alert program in place as do the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Since the program’s inception in 1997, AMBER Alerts have been credited with the successful recovery of more than 240 children.