Amber Alert Issued For Missing Texas Teen: What Happened And What Does It Mean?

Amber Alert Issued For Missing Teen In Fairview, Texas

An amber alert has been issued for a missing 14-year-old in North Texas.

The alert made the rounds on Sunday, 19 December.

Haley Giandoni was last seen around 6 pm in the 100 block of Stone Hinge drive in Fairview, Texas.

She is described as white, 5 foot 4, and 170 pounds. Giandoni has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and camouflage-print leggings.

Local Police fear she may have been abducted and have issued an alert in the hopes that people will come forwards to report anyone matching the description that has been provided. 

Police say she may be in grave danger and is looking for any tips regarding a suspicious vehicle.

What is an Amber Alert? 

The Amber alert system is a smartphone message used in all fifty states, and the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

The alert was first introduced in 1996 when Dallas-Forth Word broadcasters and local police teamed up to create an early warning system to help locate children that had been victims of child abduction.

AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was formed to honor 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and brutally murdered after being abducted while riding her bike in Arlington, Texas. 

The system was quickly picked up by other states, which enforced the alert to ask local communities to take part in searches.

The basic requirements for issuing an Amber alert are as follows:

  • The child is under 18 years of age
  • There is a serious belief that the child has been abducted
  • The child is in grave danger
  • Information that may help law enforcement locate the child exists
  • The alert is issued within a reasonable amount of time from the moment the child was last seen

How Does the Amber Alert Work?

The AMBER website states that:

“Once law enforcement has determined that a child has been abducted and the abduction meets AMBER Alert criteria, law enforcement notifies broadcasters and state transportation officials. AMBER Alerts interrupt regular programming and are broadcast on radio and television and DOT highway signs. AMBER Alerts can also be re-disseminated through lottery, digital billboards, Internet Ad exchanges, Internet Service Providers, Internet search engines, as well as wireless devices such as mobile phones.”

In today’s age, smartphone users receive a text-like alert directly on their phones the second the alert goes live, ensuring that anyone present in the estimated area of the abduction is informed that a child is missing.

The alert is monitored by the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, who serves as the National AMBER Alert Coordinator.

The coordinator’s role is to facilitate the development and broadcast of the alert, as well as determine whether a child meets the criteria required to send out an alert. 

How Has the Alert Helped Children?

Since the conception of the alert, there have been 1,071 children successfully recorded through the system as of July 2021. 

Of these, 94 have been rescued due to wireless emergency alerts sent to smartphones.

As of April of this year, there have been 86 Amber alerts issued throughout the United States.

Law enforcement has said anyone who has information about Giandoni’s disappearance is encouraged to call the Fairview Police Department at 972-886-4211.

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