Mpls’ Successful Cellular Amber Alert Was The Nation’s First
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wednesday’s quick and safe recovery of an abducted 8-month-old Minneapolis child was not only the first time an Amber Alert was sent to Minnesota cell phones, but it was the first time in the United States that a cell phone alert successfully helped recover a missing child.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension issued a message via the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Wednesday, and a teenager, who received it on her phone, spotted the vehicle used in the abduction, and told her father who notified police.
Police located the victim and then apprehended the suspect.
Nationwide Wireless Emergency Alerts have been used to distribute Amber Alerts since Dec. 31, 2012. And currently, only newer model phones are equipped to receive WEAs. It’s expected that all cell phones manufactured in the future will have WEA capability.
The Minnesota Amber Alert program was established in 2002, and since then, there have been 28 activations and 28 safe recoveries.