News Release


DATE: May 27, 2008

CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108 



SAN DIEGO – Some people don’t like getting text messages on their phones. But the next text message you get on your cell phone may help save a life.

That was the message delivered today by San Diego County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and other regional leaders as they launched a campaign to get the public to sign up for Amber Alert messages on their cell phones.

“We’re going to take the Amber Alert system to the next level,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox. “We’ve got an estimated 2.4 million cell phone users in this County alone and we want to get all those eyes and ears to help us the next time a child is abducted.”

The local campaign is part of a nationwide Amber Alert Initiative that is a partnership between the wireless industry, the United State Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Opting in to the Amber Alert system is easy. Cell phone subscribers can sign up online at or text the word AMBER, followed by their 5-digit ZIP code to 26237. (Most, but not all, wireless customers can register by cell phone.)

Subscribers will not be charged for receiving Amber Alert text messages. Most, but not all, wireless customers can register by cell phones.

“Since 1997, AMBER Alerts have been credited with the safe recovery of 377 children nationwide,” said Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, citing statistics from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “San Diegans can increase that number by taking part in this simple and potentially life-saving effort.

Sheriff Bill Kolender said getting residents to receive Amber Alert messages will help local law enforcement find missing children.

“Time is of the essence,” Kolender said. “Locating a missing child quickly can lessen the possibility for harm.”