Hutchison pushes for national AMBER alert system

Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced a new bill Tuesday
that would create a national AMBER alert system, as well as providing federal money
to help fund state networks.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Wednesday. National Association of Broadcasters
president Eddie Fritts is scheduled to testify in support of the measure.

The AMBER alert was created in 1996 in Texas as a combined effort of the
media and law enforcement to issue immediate information about child abductions
via broadcast media and highway signage.

The Trace & Recover America's Children (TRAC) Act also would give the
AMBER network access to FBI, DNA and bio information to help circulate
information on potential suspects.

The alert -- with networks operating in 14 states and 29 localities -- was named
after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and murdered in Arlington,
Texas.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.