New Law Expands Amber Alert Distribution

TRENTON – A bill to require some public employees to sign up to receive Amber Alert text messages has been signed into law.

Public employees or officers of the state who possess publicly-issued wireless devices are required to enroll in the national Wireless Amber Alerts Initiative. The program is a voluntary partnership between the wireless industry, the United States Department of Justice, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to distribute Amber Alert text messages to wireless subscribers who register to receive the messages.


“Amber Alerts have proven extremely effective in locating abducted children before that window of opportunity closes when many incidents turn tragic,” said Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex).

This requirement will apply only to employees or officers using a wireless telephone or electronic communication device 1) issued by a public entity that has contracted with a wireless telephone company that participates in the national Wireless Amber Alerts Initiative; 2) that is capable of receiving text messages; and 3) that is subscribed to or enrolled in a plan that allows the telephone or device to receive text messages.

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