North Dakota Amber Alert System Tested - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

North Dakota Amber Alert System Tested

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North Dakota's Amber Alert Plan was put to the test today.  Each year, the Department of Emergency Services simulates a child gone missing in North Dakota.  The goal is to ensure coordination with local broadcasters, so that in the event of a real emergency, the public has a chance to spot the child during the important first hours of an abduction.

"This is a test of the North Dakota Amber Alert System.  Had an actual child abduction occurred, this test would provide identifying information of the abducted child, suspect and/or suspect vehicle. . . ." (North Dakota State Highway Patrol)

"Statistics show that 76% of abducted children that were later found murdered were murdered in the first three hours after the abduction.  So it's important to get the information out as soon as we can," says Rick Robinson, Planning Specialist, North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

Child abductions, though low in North Dakota when compared nationally, still occur.  There have been five activations since 2002.  To date, one Amber Alert child -- Reachelle Smith of Minot, who disappeared in 2006 -- still has not been found.  Three others who went missing either before the Amber Alert system was in place or who were outside Amber Alert criteria are also missing from North Dakota.  

For more information, visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website,


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