POSTED: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 8:18pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 8:26pm
BATON ROUGE,LA (NBC33) — Almost 550 missing or abducted children have been rescued since the Amber Alert Program started back in 1996. State Police trooper Russell Graham says it's nothing but good news. "Over 550 children, it's huge. And just one child is enough, but 550 saved because of this program" says Graham.
The alert is named after Amber Hagerman. She was abducted and murdered 16 years ago. "She leaves a phenomenal legacy to have this system in place, that is proven to save people's lives," says Graham.
Since the program started in Louisiana back in 1992, twelve childrens' lives have been saved. During that time, technology has also helped increase law enforcement's chances of finding missing children. With 70% of abducted children murdered within the first three hours, every second counts. "Number one, it's an important program. Number two, the program is evolving with technology. There's a Facebook page that came online about a year ago. The technology will continue to evolve, will continue to make our jobs easier to find these children," says Graham.
There haven't been Amber Alerts in Louisiana in the past two and a half years. Trooper Graham says that's no excuse to let your guard down,"Our children are our most precious asset. They can't take care of themselves at three years old. It's our job. It's our duty to take care of them, to make sure they're looked after," says Graham