Amber Alert generates reports on Coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Amber Alert generates reports on Coast

Capt. Larry Murphy with the Biloxi Police Department says people should call the police if they see something suspicious after Amber Alerts, even if they are not 100 percent sure. (Photo: WLOX) Capt. Larry Murphy with the Biloxi Police Department says people should call the police if they see something suspicious after Amber Alerts, even if they are not 100 percent sure. (Photo: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The child abduction case in Jackson on Thursday had South Mississippi law enforcement on its toes with reports that the suspected car had been seen.

The reports that came in were transferred to the Biloxi Police Communications Center. While they turned out to be mistaken identity, officials say it shows the Amber Alert system is working.

The alarm may be an irritating noise to some, but Capt. Larry Murphy with the Biloxi Police Department has no empathy.

“That’s 30 seconds out of your life that may save somebody else’s life. Better to have information, go check it out and find out that it is false than not have it at all,” Murphy said. “We get calls all the time that it looks like this. We go there we find out it is or is not what we’re looking for. Move on to the next call.”

Local law enforcement officials submit requests to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation for Amber Alerts following specific criteria - particularly if a child younger than 17 is abducted, and is in danger of harm or death.

According to the Department of Justice, 868 children have been rescued because of Amber Alerts since February. 

The key, Murphy says, is speed.

“The sooner you can get the information out to the general public, the more eyes you have looking for that particular vehicle or that particular person and victim," noted the captain.

The multi-media network established through the state is pervasive, effective, and lifts a big burden off the shoulders of local law enforcement.

“You’re hitting a lot of people that are now heads up and looking for that particular information,” Murphy added. "You put a lot of public involved in a hurry.”

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