Facebook Helping Spread Amber Alerts

Sunday, January 23rd 2011, 11:01 pm
By: News 9

Jacqueline Sit, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A popular social network website is the latest tool being used to alert the public in cases of child abductions.

Over 4,000 people have already signed up to be notified on the Oklahoma Amber Alert Facebook page.

"The more eyes and ears you can put out, the better it is to find the child quickly and really make it a disadvantage for anyone who's thinking about being an abductor," said Gene Thaxton, Oklahoma Amber Alert coordinator.

In Oklahoma there have been 24 Amber Alerts since the program started in 1999 and 21 alerts were successful.

"Of those we had three children that have expired, but they were already expired before the alert was issued, so we've had 21 successful Amber Alerts," Thaxton said.

With so many social media sites, the page is another avenue to push the message to the public in case of an emergency.

"We always continue to try to find ways to put the info out to contact more people so that more people will have an awareness of it," Thaxton said.

Not only is it a social media tool, but the Oklahoma Amber Alert coordinator said it's one that could deter a potential crime.

"It really puts the abductor or the guy who's thinking about it, on the edge because the more people you have knowledge about the abduction then the more likelihood that he might decide not to do that," Thaxton said.

Visit the Oklahoma Amber Alert Facebook page.