MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There's a new way for you to help track down children believed to be abducted. Amber Alerts will now be posted to the world's most-used social media site to spread the word.
How many times a day are you on Facebook? You share posts when we tell you about missing children and it helps to get the word out. It's a collective effort law enforcement relies on, and now, it will be even easier because you're going to get Amber Alerts on your Facebook page when a child has been abducted.
It's every parent's worst nightmare, and police rely on the community to be the eyes and ears that help track down abductors and find the child safely. When we post about a missing child, we ask you to share it. Even then, it's impossible to know how many people can see the post.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is partnering with Facebook to make sure when a child is abducted, everyone in that region with a Facebook page will see the Amber Alert on their news feed. A picture with details about the child will be posted indicating when and where he or she was last seen, a physical description with weight and height, and a contact number. You can even share the Amber Alert message with your friends.
Local law enforcement can't say enough about the benefits of a massive group seeing the information.
"Getting that information out to a mass audience quickly is very important," said Lt. Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department. "So the more people that know about the investigation, hopefully the better chance we have with the investigation. One piece of information can lead to a big tip which can help solve the investigation."
The alerts go to a targeted search area decided by police. Police will determine the areas the child most likely is in, and the alert goes out to users in that area.