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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release:  
 


Wednesday, January 13, 2010  

PUT THE PRANKSTERS TO REST:  SIGN UP FOR WIRELESS ALERTS THIS AMBER ALERT AWARENESS DAY

Des Moines, IOWA --- Throughout 2009 several hoax AMBER Alert messages were distributed via text messages and emails.  The Department of Public Safety (DPS) and local law enforcement agencies are diligent about adhering to strict AMBER Alert criteria before an AMBER Alert is issued. Hoax AMBER Alerts are detrimental to the system because they desensitize the public to the serious nature of a true AMBER Alert and pranks force staff to identify the misleading messages and put out correct information. Here are two examples:  

February, 2009 DPS Press Release
“There have not been any child abductions from either of these communities, and currently there are no active AMBER Alerts in the State of Iowa.
“This misinformation is being circulated via group text messages to area residents.”

September, 2009 DPS Press Release
“This week, a series of emails and text messages have circulated, claiming an AMBER Alert has been activated...
“The above message is a hoax. No such AMBER Alert was ever activated in Iowa, or to the best of our knowledge, anywhere else in the United States.”

Iowans take the responsibility of keeping children safe very seriously.  So, during National AMBER Alert Awareness Day, January 13, 2010, the Iowa State Patrol and the State of Iowa AMBER Alert Plan encourage you to sign up for free Wireless AMBER Alerts.  These legitimate alerts are distributed via text message by law enforcement,in coordination with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, only when an AMBER Alert has been activated in a subscriber’s area.  Then subscribers can open the inbox on their mobile device, knowing which messages they’ve received about an abducted child have come from a credible source.  You can subscribe for Wireless AMBER Alerts at www.iowaamberalert.org

AMBER Alert Awareness Day is also a great time to get involved in the poster contest for National Missing Children’s Day!  The Department of Public Safety invites artistically minded 5th graders across the state to enter.  You’ll not only gain an opportunity to show your talent, but also learn about the many kids in Iowa and across the country who need America’s help to be safely brought home.  Visit: 

http://www.dps.state.ia.us/mpic/2010PosterContest.shtml
 

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To enroll in the DPS E-mail Notification system simply log on to https://dpsemailnotify.iowa.gov and follow the instructions to enroll as a new user.