A state amber alert system is being created in the Legislature, and it’s getting broader as the process moves forward. The system to alert the public, which can help end kidnappings quickly, is voluntary from town to town and county to county. But the Department of Public Safety will develop a prgoram that divides the state into nine regions and coordinates searches if a case extends beyond one region. The alert system also involves the state lottery and the Transportation Department because both have extensive statewide computer hookups that can put information and images in front of tens of thousands of people within minutes. A special commission will oversee the operations of the program. Co-sponsor Harold Caskey of Butler says the program has been broadened so it does not just cover abducted children. The bill advanced in the Senate is close to the executive order issued last year by Governor Bob Holden. Caskey says the system established by the executive order has been tested twice. And both incidents were resolved within their region. But he says the tests show the system would have worked statewide if it had been necessary to expand the search.
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