BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless announced today that customers with TXT Messaging-capable phones can sign up to receive TXT Alerts with information about abducted children right from their wireless phones. Since May, Verizon Wireless customers have been able to register for Wireless AMBER AlertsTM online. Verizon Wireless is the first national wireless service provider to announce that customers are able sign up for these Alerts by sending a TXT Message directly from their wireless phones.
Wireless AMBER Alerts are distributed in cooperation with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and local law enforcement agencies. The Alerts will appear as text messages on a customer's wireless handset, and will include information about the abducted child and a telephone number for law enforcement for the customer to call to report any information on that child.
"The idea behind Wireless AMBER Alerts is to get information to people when they are on the go and may be able to provide law enforcement with timely information about abducted children," said Steve Zipperstein, vice president and general counsel, Verizon Wireless. "By offering our customers the ability to sign up for Alerts right from their handsets, we're providing a simple and accessible way for them to be part of this program."
Opting In Using TXT Messaging and AMBER Code
Verizon Wireless customers with handsets capable of text messaging can sign up for Wireless AMBER Alerts by sending a TXT Message to the address AMBER (26237). The body of the message should include a five-digit ZIP Code indicating the state or geographical area for which they would like to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts. Customers will receive a reply message confirming they have signed up for the Alert, along with instructions on how to cancel the service.
Wireless AMBER Alerts are issued by local law enforcement agencies. All 50 states have AMBER Alert programs, and a full list of the AMBER Alert plans can be found on NCMEC's Web site at www.missingkids.com.
The messages to sign up and receive Wireless AMBER Alerts are free for Verizon Wireless customers and will not count against any bundles or other TXT Messaging packages.
Signing Up for Wireless AMBER Alerts Online
Since May 17, Verizon Wireless customers with handsets capable of receiving TXT Messages have been able to sign up online to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts. Customers can continue to opt-in by going to www.verizonwireless.com, and choosing "send TXT Messages" from the Get It Now® drop-down menu, or by logging directly in to www.vtext.com, Verizon Wireless' TXT Messaging site. After logging in, customers go to the Alerts page and choose the "News and Tech" category, then click on "FREE" Wireless AMBER Alert. They will then be prompted to enter a ZIP Code for the state or geographical area for which they want to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts.
Verizon Wireless customers may also visit www.wirelessamberalerts.org where they will be asked to enter their wireless phone number, and then will be automatically directed to the Alerts page on the www.vtext.com site.
About Wireless AMBER Alerts
The Wireless AMBER Alerts initiative is a voluntary arrangement among the wireless industry, including Verizon Wireless, law enforcement agencies, and NCMEC. Introduced in May 2005, Wireless AMBER Alerts provide information about abducted children directly to a wireless phone in the form of a text message.
AMBER stands for "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response" and was created in 1997 when broadcasters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to find abducted children. President Bush authorized the national AMBER Alert program as part of the PROTECT Act signed in 2003, formally establishing the federal government's role in the AMBER Alert program and appointing the Department of Justice as the agency responsible for coordinating AMBER Alerts on a national level. The Department of Justice has officially partnered with NCMEC, authorizing it as the agent that coordinates and disseminates AMBER Alerts to secondary distributors including wireless service providers. To date, AMBER Alerts have been credited with the successful recovery of more than 215 children.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.