JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HONORS NEW MEXICO LIEUTENANT WITH
AMBER ALERT LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERSHIP AWARD
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Marilyn Roberts, Deputy Administrator for the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), presented Lieutenant Eric Garcia with the AMBER Alert Law Enforcement Leadership Award during the National AMBER Alert Symposium in Phoenix, AZ.
As the Public Information Officer and Associate Broadcast Media Coordinator for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and AMBER Alert Coordinator for New Mexico, Lieutenant Garcia worked tirelessly in 2010 to provide education and training on AMBER Alert laws, regulations, and protocols. Lieutenant Garcia has led more than two dozen AMBER Alert training sessions this year, participated in several New Mexico Media Broadcasters Association's training sessions, and provided training to the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Dispatcher Schools.
Lieutenant Garcia took Amber Alert one step farther by developing and implementing his own missing/endangered alert, responding to instances when abducted or endangered children may not prompt an AMBER Alert notification. This has proven to be extremely helpful for both law enforcement and the public. Additionally, Lieutenant Garcia has been active in the AMBER Alert Southern Border Initiative, which focuses on establishing child alert systems in Mexican states that share the border with the United States.
"Keeping the AMBER Alert system vital and powerful relies on the work of many partners and supporters," said Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for OJP and National AMBER Alter Coordinator. "Our ongoing commitment is to improve and strengthen the AMBER Alert network to protect all children and rescue them if they are abducted or missing."
This year, during the National AMBER Alert Symposium, OJP recognized individual or collective efforts to protect children from abduction and to recover missing or abducted children. Award categories are:
The AMBER (America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert system began in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. The system was created in memory of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman of Arlington, Texas, who was abducted while riding her bicycle and later found murdered. AMBER Alerts are emergency messages broadcast when a law enforcement agency determines that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger. For more information about the AMBER Alert program, please visit http://www.amberalert.gov.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nationís capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has seven bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; the Community Capacity Development Office, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.