ROCKAWAY, N.J., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ --Reginald H. Bowman, President, The City Wide Council of Presidents of the New York City Housing Authorities' Residents, which represents the 178,000 families that live in the Public Housing of the New York City Housing Authority, announced today that the organization has made a commitment to invest $1.5 million in the AMBER Ready program on behalf of more than 30,000 families now living in New York City Public Housing.
"The phenomenon of 800,000 children reported missing yearly in this country is alarming," says Bowman. "Children come first. In order to secure any community and invest in the future of a city, state, and nation, we must invest in new ways of protecting our most important resource, our children. AMBER Ready represents the new direction in child protection, and by using the AMBER Ready program we are creating a direct line to law enforcement that will allow us to deter abductions and to become a model AMBER Ready community."
The AMBER Ready Program (www.amberready.com) is the nation's first wireless child protection service and community predator deterrent program, and a major technological advance in the effort to find missing or abducted children. Research has shown that the first few hours after a child is reported missing or abducted are critical. The program, which costs $50 per family for a two-year subscription, enables parents and guardians to store their children's photo, description and other valuable information in a profile in their wireless multimedia phones. If the unfortunate situation ever occurs, an Amber Ready subscriber can immediately transfer information to their local law enforcement agency, media stations, airports, and the AMBER Alert Network. While AMBER Ready is not AMBER Alert, it is a tool used to enhance the issuance of an AMBER Alert and effectively reduces the time for law enforcement agencies to disseminate an AMBER Alert from hours to minutes. The program has been endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) and National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
This fall, 50 million of America's children will return to school. By summer, 1 million of them will be classified as missing or abducted. Minorities, often the least informed about what to do when children are abducted, equaled 65% of the total non-family abductions between the ages of 13-17, with African American children making up 42% of that group and Hispanics 23%. In New York State alone, more than 20,000 children under the age of 18 are reported missing every year. Moreover, according to the New York Police Department there are a total of 5,846 Registered Sex Offenders in New York City.
Kai D. Patterson, founder, Chairman and CEO of AMBER Ready, says, "This NYCHA commitment will be a model for the urban implementation of AMBER Ready. AMBER Ready is an easy-to-use and invaluable service that operates efficiently in moments of extreme crises where accuracy and timeliness are critical. When disseminated and used by a critical mass of families and communities throughout the U.S., it will allow communities across the nation to finally begin to reduce the number of missing and abducted children each year and to put child predators on notice that this community and its children are AMBER Ready."
The announcement was made during an AMBER Ready Press Conference and Child Safety Forum held today at ABC Times Square Studios. In addition to Patterson, Bowman was joined by Jon Adler, National President, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and the parents and families of several missing children.
Cicely Tyson, EMMY award-winning actress and head of The Cicely L. Tyson Performing & Fine Arts Community School, East Orange, N.J., was also on hand to address the alarming and devastating issue of child abduction and the need for greater awareness and prevention efforts.
The conference/forum precedes the AMBER Ready, Inc. and the AMBER Ready Foundation's Back-to-School Safety Weekend at ABC Times Square Studios, August 15-16, 2009. Hosted by Raven Symone, Doug E. Fresh, and J.D. Williams, weekend activities will feature evening performances by Robin Thicke, Ciara, Sean Kingston, Trey Songz, Day 26, Brutha (formerly known as Brothers to Brutha), Toby Love and more. Daytime activities will include family fun, virtual games with celebrities and athletes, strolling entertainment, food and prizes. Families will also receive back-to-school safety tips and be able to enroll in the AMBER Ready program onsite.
For a full schedule and ticket information for the AMBER Ready Back to School Weekend events, call 1-866-60-AMBER or visit www.amberready.com.
SOURCE AMBER Ready Foundation