Local Government Support Invited for Amber Alerts

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General is inviting British Columbia local governments to participate in the province-wide Amber Alert Program. The proposed role for local governments is to distribute Amber Alert messages to their employees via email, as part of the overall distribution system.

The Province’s proposal involves local governments providing CivicInfo BC a single, central email address to receive Amber Alert messages that are issued by the BC Missing Persons Centre. Once an Amber Alert is issued, the central email address will receive an email that includes a PDF attachment with specific case details. The designated employee will be expected to copy the information into a separate email message that is to be sent to all local government employees. The designated employee will also be responsible for distributing any updates and new information related to the Amber Alert.

The Amber Alert system is a partnership initiative between multiple stakeholders, including police agencies and media organizations. When a child has been abducted and it is believed his or her life is in imminent danger, the partners collaborate to publically issue emergency broadcasts providing up-to-date information as a means to solicit public assistance. Amber Alerts in Canada are a provincial responsibility, and are only activated based on a specific set of criteria.

To determine local government willingness to participate in this program, each designated emergency program coordinator, as listed in the CivicInfo BC database, has been contacted. There is no monetary cost to local governments to participate in this program.

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