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Utah to test Amber Alert system on Sunday

Published January 12, 2013 11:41 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah will test its statewide Amber Alert system Sunday to ensure it works properly when a child is abducted.

Known formally as "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response," the alerts are issued through commercial media outlets, on the internet and over satellite radio when police suspect a child is missing and in danger. The alerts are also issued via e-mail and posted on electronic traffic signs.

The system was originally named for Amber Hagermen, a 9-year-old Texas girl abducted and murdered in 1996.

Utah has issued 34 Amber Alerts since the plan was started on April 2, 2002. Most children were recovered safely and the alerts were directly responsible for bringing 17 children back home.

The state tests the system twice yearly — on Jan. 13, which is National Amber Alert Day, and on Aug. 26, the anniversary of the 1982 abduction of 3-year-old Rachael Runyan from her home near Sunset. Prior to 2003, Utah's own alert system was named for Runyan.

Utah residents can sign up to receive the alerts by e-mail, test, fax or RSS feeds at http://bit.ly/5hl43n. A Facebook page also carries the alerts.

jdobner@sltrib.com