State police finding success in Amber Alert system
BATON ROUGE - Parents are enjoying the summer fun Thursday, but many were alerted to a child abduction this morning .
When 9-month-old Liam Allen went missing from Jeanerette in New Iberia Parish Wednesday night, state police acted quickly to get all of the information they had to everyone.
"We were able to get great information," said Bryan Lee, public information officer with Louisiana State Police. “We were able to get photos of the suspect as well as photos of what the baby was actually wearing that day. So we were able to get that information out and within the matter of an hour the child and that suspect were located."
According to LSP, there are three main criteria that an abduction must meet for an Amber Alert. The child must be under the age of 17 and in imminent danger. Police say they must also have very descriptive information as they did in Liam Allen's case.
According to state police, the Amber Alert system has been used 15 times since it was put in place in 2002. And the child in each of those cases were found safe, but those aren't the only children who go missing.
“There's still a level II missing child advisory,” said Lee. “It's not as far-reaching, and we don't use as many resources to put it out as we do the Amber Alert, because we don't have as much information."
Parents with young children say the system is effective, and they hope everyone takes the alerts as serious as authorities.
"Honestly, I think if a child is missing, it should be everybody should know about it because the more eyes and ears looking for that child the better," said Sarah Irby, a mother of three.
“From New Iberia all the way to Laffayette, I know that's four communities that enough people got the amber alert to where they were able to get it resolved and get the baby home safely," said Rapheal Gilks, another parent.