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Crime and Courts

Kansas Bureau Of Investigation Suggests Improvements To Amber Alert System After Broadcast Error

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Tony Webster
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flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has released the results of a top-to-bottom review of the Kansas Amber Alert program. Schmidt requested the review in response to concerns about the execution of the system.

In early December, an Amber Alert was issued for a Wichita woman and her three children, but one method of broadcasting the alert – a special signal that activates individuals’ cellphones – failed, reportedly due to human error. Melissa Gifford, 30, and all three children were later found safe at a west Wichita motel.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation conducted the review of the alert system. KBI Director Kirk Thompson recommended several actions as a result, including the creation of an Amber Alert advisory board. He also recommended that local law enforcement agencies establish procedures to speed up the Amber Alert request process when an abduction occurs.

Additionally, the KBI wants to meet with media to help clarify misperceptions about the Amber Alert process and seek input on improvements to the program.

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Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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