Harrison County to Get Amber Alert

After watching a tape that describes how the Ambert Alert system works, the Harrison County E-911 Commissioners all agreed to put the system in place here. The next step is a meeting between the county's law enforcers and media representatives to determine how the warning plan will work with the current Emergency Alert System.

"What we first have to do is establish what our current EAS system is and what the capabilities of that system are and secondly would be the media blitz to make sure people coming in our area know we have the plan in place, parents know we have the plan in place," says Gulfport Police Officer Alfred Sexton.

Law enforcement declares an Amber Alert only when a child has been abducted. The alerts are passed on to citizens over the television and radio airwaves.

Long Beach Fire Chief George Bass says, "Any information we can get out and the sooner we get it out if we save one life every bit of its worth it."

Officers say the Amber Alert is an invaluable tool that will help them fight a crime they say was almost unheard of until now.

E-911 Commission Director Gil Bailey says, "The abduction of a child was something we never had to worry about and in my 25 plus years in law enforcement only recently have we really had to start worrying about this. Our children need every protection they can get and we have to be all of us the ears and eyes of our community to protect our children today."

The Amber Alert brings the community together to reunite parents with their kidnapped child, while at the same time Bailey says hopefully stopping the abduction of others.

Bailey says once the program gets underway, they will ask businesss with electronic billboards, like casinos and the colisem, to help pass on the information about an abduction.

Efforts will also be made to expand the system to Hancock and Jackson Counties.