Facebook and Missing persons families support center launch AMBER Alert in case of missing children 2018-03-15
Facebook, in partnership with the Missing Persons Families Support Center, campaign “For A Safe Lithuania”, initiated by the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the Embassy of the United States in Lithuania, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Lithuanian Police Department is proud to announce the introduction of the AMBER Alert system in Lithuania. The initiative was launched during a joint event held on Wednesday, March 14 at the Presidential Palace’s Center of Civil Education.
AMBER Alert is a Facebook-related system that enables law enforcement to send a message containing a recent photo and information about a missing child to all users located within a radius of 200 km from the location where the child was last seen. Facebook users in the area will receive the AMBER Alert only if they have their location services on and will see it no differently than a regular publication. This will enable them to share it with their friends and help find the child faster. With more than 2 billion users this will be an effective and powerful tool in locating missing children.
“We know that when a child is missing, the most valuable thing we can do is get information out to the public as quickly as possible. By getting the right information to the right people, at the right time, through AMBER Alerts on Facebook, we hope to help reunite missing children with their families faster”, – says Emily Vacher, Director Trust and Safety at Facebook.
“We are glad that Facebook trusts us – Lithuania is the first country in the Nordic region to have such system. We will be able not only to learn and experiment ourselves, but to become an example to others. Our citizens in the region are particularly active in using the social network Facebook - I am among them as well. With the help of the system, we will be able to reach a lot of people, therefore, we will help the Lithuanian police, law enforcement institutions and our families”, – Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said.
U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania Anne Hall says that there is nothing more important than making sure our children are safe. The launch of Facebook’s AMBER Alert is a great example of Lithuanian-U.S. cooperation that makes our communities safer and stronger. The U.S. Embassy is proud to have played a part in bringing together partners who can share such innovative tools and strategies.
“When the child is missing each minute is crucial to avoid the disaster. Therefore, the cooperation between police and public is essential and especially needed“, – claims Minister of the Interior Eimutis Misiūnas.
As Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania says, they are glad Lithuania has joined the international program Amber Alert Facebook. We expect this supplementary tool to enhance search efficiency in those cases where there are grounds for supposing that a child was abducted or could become a victim of some other crime and where rapid dissemination of information is of utmost importance.
“In Lithuania we have the international hotline 116 000 for missing children and now we are extremely excited to join the AMBER Alert Facebook system, which will help to engage more community members in critical cases of missing children”, – says director of Missing person’s families support center Natalja Kurčinskaja.
Facebook is an American public company based in California, providing online social media and social networking platform. The website was first launched in March 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college fellows. Today Facebook can be accessed through a wide range of devices with Internet connection, such as desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet. Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users as of June 2017.