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Sen. John Proos: Residents now able to support AMBER Alert

Published 9:22am Thursday, August 15, 2013

By Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph

As a father of three young children, I can imagine how heartbreaking it would be to have a child abducted. AMBER Alerts help address the need to respond quickly to a potential abduction and let the public help return the child safely.
The Michigan AMBER Alert Program is a partnership between the Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Once broadcasters are notified by the state police about a missing or endangered child, they relay notices over TV and radio to help engage the public in the recovery effort.
Since the program’s inception in 2001, it has helped recover more than 300 missing or endangered children in Michigan.
Costs for the program vary each year, but the average amount needed for it to operate is roughly $60,000 a year, not including administrative costs of law enforcement or donations of staff and air time.
While the initiative was created by state legislation as a successful partnership between law enforcement and broadcasters, no tax dollars are used to cover the costs of providing this valuable service.
It is vital that this important program has the funding necessary to help find missing children. That is why I supported a new law to empower citizens in helping provide the critical funds for the program.
Public Acts 91 and 92 of 2013 create a voluntary check-off box on state income tax returns that will allow taxpayers to donate to the Michigan AMBER Alert Program – with all donations dedicated to supporting this important service.
Southwest Michigan families are very generous in helping out worthy causes, and this completely voluntary check-off will give taxpayers a hassle-free way to support a program with a track record of success.
Most importantly, by checking off a donation for the Michigan AMBER Alert Program, we can all help assist in the safe return of missing children.
For information on the program residents can visit: www.amberalertmichigan.org.

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.  

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