New Facebook pages post Amber Alerts nationwide

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)  - Millions of people log onto Facebook everyday. Now when you log on, you could be just a few clicks away from finding out if an Amber Alert is issued right in your backyard. You can then share it with your friends, and possibly save someone's life.

You've probably seen billboards pop up when Amber Alerts go out. It's exactly what happened when 12 year old Brittany Mae Smith went missing. State Police even used Facebook for help.

"What that click of a button went out images of Brittany Smith," says Colonel Steve Flaherty with the Virginia State Police.

Brittany was found in California days later. Now, you can find out about all the children in danger even faster, all across the country, simply by logging onto your computer and signing onto Facebook.

Dad of two, Ian Danielsen, says this is a big step to save a life. Not only is Ian worried about his two kids. But thousands of kids throughout the country. He's a child advocate here in Richmond.  "Any way technology can be used to save kids is a step in the right direction, says Ian Danielsen. "It will be a total game changer."

Leaders know every second counts when there is an Amber Alert. "Seconds, minutes and even hours. Those first few minutes and hours are so critical," says Ian.

There will be an Amber Alert page for every state, along with DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The Amber Alert pages are easy to get to. Simply go to the search bar on Facebook's home page. Put in your home state, like Virginia Amber Alert and the site pops up.

You can even share the page and information, with your friends. "It will get the word out internationally," says Ian.

"I can only imagine and dream what we will be able to do now with 53 new Facebook pages," adds Col. Flaherty.

Now, Ian says the challenge is making sure not only his agency, but others across the country, get the word out about these new Facebook pages.

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