Authorities involved in the coordination of the Amber Alert system are hoping to clear up confusion after the government shutdown took the Amber Alert website offline.
The Texas Center for the Missing, the official Amber Alert Coordinator for the 14 county Houston-Galveston Region, says it will continue to activate local Amber Alerts via a web-based platform designed specifically for the Houston-Galveston region.
The US Office of Justice website is currently unavailable due to the government shutdown, but the TCM says this should not affect the issuance of any Amber Alerts in any part of the country, including here in Texas.
The Texas Center for the Missing says social media and other websites have been reporting that the government website, Amberalert.gov, has been down since the government shutdown. This site normally displays urgent missing child alerts from across the nation and helps to connect citizens and law enforcement, but should not affect the ability to issue an amber alert in any part of the country.
Each of the 120 Amber Alert programs around the US operates independently, however, unlike many, the Houston Regional Amber Alert System does not receive any local, state or federal funding so government circumstances do not affect the operations. Houston's system survives solely on grants and donations to Texas Center for the Missing.