Ontario AMBER Alert program to be reviewed

(May 26 – CNW) The Ontario AMBER Alert is a cooperative effort between Ontario Police Services, Ontario Association of Broadcasters and other stakeholders to provide early notification to gain assistance from the public to locate a child victim under the age of 18 years of age who is believed to have been abducted and is in danger of serious bodily harm or death.

The program was launched province-wide in Ontario in January, 2003 and was created in the United States in 1996 after the tragic kidnapping and murder of nine year old Amber Hagerman.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), who facilitates the program, announced on May 26 it would be coordinating a review of the Ontario AMBER Alert in partnership with Ontario’s Police Services, the Amber Alert Steering Committee and other stakeholders to ensure that it continues to meet the evolving needs of public safety.

"To ensure that the AMBER Alert program protects the most vulnerable members of our society, our children, the OPP has taken the initiative to coordinate the review of Ontario’s AMBER Alert," said Commissioner Julian Fantino.

"Our government is supportive of any measure that proposes to make Ontarians safer, and in particular, that protects children," says Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci. "I look forward to seeing the results of the review of the AMBER Alert program and if there are recommendations for change, we will certainly look at those."

The scope and terms of reference of this review will be established after consultation with stakeholder partners.