The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and RCMP AMBER Alert program launched a Facebook page today.
In a Skype video feed from Washington, D.C., Facebook’s public policy communications manager Andrew Noyes asked everyone in the province to “like” the page — the Facebook term used to sign up. That way they will receive immediate AMBER alerts in their Facebook news feeds should a child be abducted.
Police forces here have, so far, not had to issue an AMBER Alert in this province. But Newfoundland and Labrador becomes the fourth in Canada — and Canada is the first country in the world — to adopt the Facebook AMBER Alert page.
Allen McCullough, president of Canada’s non-profit Child Safety Research and Innovation Centre, said the page gives law enforcement another key tool to protect children here.
There are four criteria for Amber Alert:
Confirmation that a child or individual with a proven mental or physical disability has been abducted; police belive the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death; there is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor and suspect’s vehicle to ensure the public can identify them and the alert can be issued in a timeframe that would provide a reasonable expectation that the child could be returned or the abductor could be apprehended prior to fleeing.
The first three hours of an Amber Alert are crucial.
Among those launching the Facebook page were provincial Justice Minister Felix Collins, Internet lawyer and founder of cybersafety group WiredSafety.Org Parry Aftab, RNC Chief Bob Johnston and RCMP Commanding Officer Bill Smith.
Also, see video.