Public asks for improved Amber Alert system

Program creator is supportive of changes

Public asks for improved Amber Alert system

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - It has been one month since 10-year-old Hailey Owens, of Springfield, was kidnapped and killed.

Nearly three months ago, 6-year-old Markell Beasley was also kidnapped and killed.

These children have certainly not been forgotten and have many Mid-Missourians asking for an improved Amber Alert System.

Former Highway Patrol public safety officer Charles Jackson created the Missouri Amber Alert program more than 10 years ago.

He says he knew back then the program would have to be constantly changing to keep up with the times.

"You have to see how things happen from situation to situation because nothing is standard in situations like this. Everything has a uniqueness about it, so you have make adjustments when you find commonalities to address those issues," said Jackson.

Jefferson City residents say the program now needs to be made faster. They say the two hours it took for the announcement of Hailey Owen's abduction is just too long.

"You know, I think they need to speed it up," said Jefferson City resident Todd Fulton.

Many feel all of the paperwork needed to be completed before an Amber Alert is issued should be bypassed or somehow streamlined so that the alert goes out sooner.

"The world's changing, so these things have to change," said Jefferson City resident Mattie Lyn Brown.

Jackson agrees. He says changes should always be implemented when it comes to Missouri children's safety.

"Changes can be made so that it can be the best that it can be and be as effective as possible to recover anyone that is kidnapped," said Jackson.

Missouri lawmakers are discussing new ways to improve Amber Alerts in the state, but no formal legislation has been introduced yet.

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