Sheriff Whitney announces enhancements to AMBER Alert system
Missouri Amber Alert-As part of a sustained effort to protect missing and exploited children, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office will begin tapping citizens to join the search for abducted kids
Sheriff Brian Whitney will send enhanced, actionable AMBER alerts to citizens when Scotland County children get abducted.
Today, he announced his office has begun utilizing Missouri Watch, a digital platform that helps Sheriffs coordinate the public search for missing kids.
The free, web-based application was coded for law enforcement, by law enforcement, to honor the memory of Hailey Owens, whose life could have been saved by a more timely and effective AMBER alert in 2014.
“As the chief law enforcement officer of Scotland County, Sheriff Whitney continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the missing and exploited children of our state,” said Mikol Skaggs, a deputy sheriff who helped program Missouri Watch.
“Now it’s up to each of us to join the Scotland County Missouri Watch and commit to taking a few minutes to look around when an AMBER alert is issued.”
When a child has been abducted, nearby Missouri Watch members receive an enhanced AMBER alert that includes relevant photos, an individually-assigned watch zone, and a link to the Missouri Watch platform, which broadcasts the latest information and search instructions. With the tap of a button, citizens can navigate to their assigned watch zones, call law enforcement to report a sighting, or check in to be assigned a new watch zone.
The platform’s smart zone assignment algorithm leverages nearly two decades of AMBER alert data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to coordinate public search efforts in the safest and most effective manner possible.