Cell Phone Users Will Receive Alerts Without Knowing Their Phone Has Feature

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you live in New York, you may soon start getting AMBER alerts on your cell phone.

According to the State Police, thousands of New York cell phone users will begin to receive free, automatic AMBER Alerts without knowing their phone has the feature.

An AMBER Alert is an emergency alert activated in the most serious child abduction cases and has been used in New York State since 2002.

The AMBER Alert program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child abduction cases, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child.

Any questions or concerns on the AMBER Alert message received on your phone should be directed to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), who manages the secondary distribution of AMBER Alerts.

Contact: NCMEC, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

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