Kentucky Speedway To Play Role In Statewide Amber Alert Portal Rollout
Kentucky Speedway will play a role in the statewide rollout of the AMBER Alert Web Portal system by hosting "The AMBER Alert Indy 300" Indy Racing League IndyCar Series event on August 14.
The event will take place on the same day the AMBER Alert Web Portal system is introduced to law enforcement agencies statewide. The portal will expand the state's current kidnapping alert network - which broadcasts messages to TV, radio and electronic highway signs - to include cell phones, beepers, Personal Digital Assistants, email, computer desktops and lottery terminals, among others.
"We're honored to be associated with this important initiative that will protect children throughout Kentucky," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "Children are our most important priority, and we're proud that Kentucky Speedway can play an integral role in the AMBER Alert Portal introduction through this unique sponsorship."
In the event of a kidnapping, police officers can upload information on the child or kidnapper - including pictures, physical descriptions and the location of the crime - into the AMBER Alert Web Portal from their squad cars. Once the information is approved by the state's AMBER Alert coordinator, it is disseminated to the public and relevant government agencies. The portal features sophisticated hardware and software that enables law enforcement to concentrate their broadcast messages in the vicinity of a kidnapping and expand that area as time elapses. Citizens are a crucial part of the AMBER Alert system's success, providing law enforcement with the eyes and ears they need to gather information and help save a child.
Kentucky State Police will be able to issue an alert in five to 10 minutes through the portal, approximately 30 minutes quicker than the current system. Nearly 75 percent of homicides associated with child kidnappings occur within the first three hours of abduction. Kentucky has issued 11 alerts and successfully located 14 children ranging in age from newborn to 16 years. The state first activated the system on July 23, 2003. The most recent Kentucky activation was on April 20, 2005.
"The AMBER Alert Web Portal represents one way Kentucky is working to provide law enforcement officers as well as citizens with the most up-to-date information about a missing child," said Lt. Gov. Steve Pence. "This Web-based tool equips officers with the ability to receive critical data almost instantaneously, when minutes, even seconds count. This portal could mean the difference between life and death. We're calling on the public to sign up to receive AMBER Alerts and send the message to kidnappers that if you take a child, we will all be looking for you."
Arizona, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oregon and Washington have implemented the new AMBER Alert Web Portal, making Kentucky the seventh state to go live. The portal has already resulted in the successful recovery of a kidnapped child in Washington.
"We are proud to welcome the Commonwealth of Kentucky into the AMBER Alert Portal Consortium," said Todd Sander, Chief Operating Officer of the Consortium. "Parents in Kentucky can sleep better tonight knowing that this revolutionary Portal Technology can aid in the safe recovery of abducted children. We look forward to bringing that peace of mind to every parent in America."
The AMBER Alert system is fully funded by the AMBER Alert Web Portal Consortium, a public/private partnership which includes the government of Kentucky, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, non-governmental organizations and the business community. The portal counts HP, Intel and ESRI among its national contributors.
"Today's launch of the most sophisticated AMBER Alert system in the nation stands as an example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors work together," said Granger Whitelaw, Chairman of the AMBER Development Group. "From police precincts to corporate board rooms, state capitals to neighborhood watches, the message is clear: if you even think of taking a child, we will all be looking for you."
Citizens are encouraged to sign up to receive alerts at http://www.AMBERalert.com.
About Kentucky AMBER Alert
Kentucky developed an AMBER Alert Plan in 2002 through a cooperative effort between the Kentucky State Police, Transportation Cabinet, Emergency Management, Kentucky Broadcaster's Association and the Kentucky Press Association. KSP is the single source initiator for the state activation.
About the AMBER Alert Consortium
The AMBER Alert Web Portal Consortium (www.AMBERAlert.com) is a public/private partnership of the U.S. government, The National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations, non-profit agencies and business participants working together to expand the AMBER Alert Portal system in all 50 states. In the event of a child abduction where serious harm is believed possible, an alert is sent from law enforcement through the portal to all relevant parties, including law enforcement, transportation agencies, corrections and probation officers, border agencies, media and other partner organizations. The public plays a critical part in the success of the system, signing up to receive AMBER Alerts on their cell phones, pagers, fax machines, email and desktop computers. This public service is provided free of charge to states and their respective law enforcement agencies through the support and volunteer efforts of thousands of organizations and individuals nationwide. About Kentucky Speedway
Kentucky Speedway is celebrating its sixth racing season by hosting eight race events through five weekends in 2005. The season opened with the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150" in May and will continue with the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" and support events on June 17-18. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" and supporting events take to the track July 8-9 and the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series will deliver high powered action with "The AMBER Alert Indy 300" in August. The NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast Series closes out the season on September 10 in "The Charlie Daniels Band Fall Classic." The speedway also will host the one-night-only "Jammin' in the Bluegrass Presented by Meijer" featuring Grammy-award winning artist Tim McGraw, Trick Pony and Billy Dean on July 30. Tickets are available for all events and can be reserved online at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com or Tickets.com, by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223) and through Tickets.com outlets including Meijer Stores. Fans also can visit the Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200, in Ft. Mitchell or the Fan Center located outside Turn 3 at the track.
~ Kentucky Speedway ~