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Changes to the Amber Alert System

When the Amber Alert system was first implemented, law enforcement needed to confirm that an abduction had occurred, the child was believed to be in serious danger of injury or death, and details about the child, abductor, and their vehicle. Due in part to the recent deaths of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, the State of Iowa has recently changed that criteria. Lt. Shane Cox of the Pella Police Department says that often, children reported as missing are simply staying at a friends house or have snuck out for the night. Cox adds that in those cases, an alert will still not be issued unless there is a reason to believe an abduction has occurred. Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada speaks positively of the changes. He says that any change that makes it easier to put out an alert is a good thing. When an Amber Alert is distributed, it goes out over the emergency alert system. KNIA/KRLS is the local distributor of emergency alerts, and will distribute Amber Alerts as we receive them over the air. In the past five years, five Amber Alerts have been issued in Iowa.