Ontario’s provincial police (OPP) have launched an Amber Alert Twitter account, to alert the public about missing and abducted children.
Amber Alerts were first used in 1996, following the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman. Originating in the US, Amber Alerts are now being used by many countries around the world.
Announced via a tweet, the OPP’s new Amber Alerts will be distributed on Twitter through the @OPP_Coordinator account.
Today is the launch of the AMBER Alert twitter account. Please help us create a following. Ontario AMBER Alerts will be posted here.
— AMBER Alert Ontario (@OPP_Coordinator) May 20, 2014
As City News reports, the OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair has this to say about the new program:
“With the use of Twitter, an Amber Alert will travel among thousands of cellphones and electronic devices within seconds… through the use of social media we can reach many people quickly, and this is critical during an Amber Alert activation.”
Along with the Twitter account, the OPP have also launched an Amber Alert system via a new 511 number that motorists can dial. This number works in tandem with overhead highway signs to display important information about the missing child and his or her suspected abductor.
This Twitter account is following in the footsteps of the U.S Department of Justice’s @AMBERAlert which launched back in January.
(Smartphone alert image via Shutterstock)