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Western State AG's Discuss Amber Alerts

Western State AG's Discuss Amber Alerts


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Kimberly Houk reporting Utah's Attorney General is requesting all AG's in western states to get functioning Amber Alert Systems in their states.

The Attorneys General met in Park City today to discuss how to keep the alert going across state lines.

Right now, there are 45 states that have working Amber Alert systems. Four of the five states that don't, are Western states: Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, and Hawaii. It's these states that were targeted today by both Mark Shurtleff and Ed Smart, a team who wants to see working Amber Alert Systems in every state.

Shurtleff says the biggest problem with states not having Amber Alert systems, is no one wants to take charge of the system. A problem both Shurtleff and Ed Smart addressed today when they asked all western state's attorney generals to take the lead.

SHURTLEFF: "WHEN A CHILD IS TAKEN, EVERY SINGLE SECOND COUNTS, SO THE MORE PEOPLE YOU HAVE LOOKING WITHIN SECONDS OF THE ABDUCTION, THE CHANCES ARE... WE'LL RECOVER THE CHILD."

Ed Smart, Elizabeth Smart's Father: "IT SENDS A BIG MESSAGE TO THOSE PEOPLE WHO WOULD WANT TO TAKE OUR CHILDREN, THAT THEY ARE GOING TO GET CAUGHT."

Ed Smart has been the loudest voice supporting the Amber Alert since his daughter Elizabeth was taken from their home more than a year ago. Smart says he wants to make sure the Alert doesn't end once an abductor crosses state lines.

Ed Smart, Elizabeth Smart's Father: "I FELT SO STRONGLY THAT AT THE TIME WE WERE REJOICING OVER HAVING ELIZABETH HOME, I FELT COMPELLED BY GUILT TO SCREAM OUT TO PLEASE BEG FOR THE ATTENTION THAT THE AMBER ALERT NEEDS."

Along with state's support, Smart and Shurtleff are also asking Utahns to sign up to receive Amber Alerts. The alerts will be sent to cell phones, pagers, or emails.

SHURTLEFF: "IT GOES TO CITIZENS OF UTAH THE EXACT TIME IT GOES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. WE CAN HAVE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF UTAHNS IMMEDIATELY LOOKING FOR A LOST CHILD AND IT WILL SAVE CHILDREN."

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