Missing-child alert system to be tested
The statewide alarm begun a year ago has been used just once
State and county officials were scheduled to conduct a test of Hawaii's MAILE AMBER Alert at 11:45 this morning.
Today is the first anniversary of the statewide alert system for missing or abducted children. It is also the 21st anniversary of the abduction and murder of 6-year-old Maile Gilbert of Kailua, one of the children for whom the program is named. The other is 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Texas, who was abducted and murdered in 1996.
The MAILE AMBER Alert plan is a partnership between local radio and television broadcasters, the four county police departments and state Civil Defense, Department of Transportation and Department of the Attorney General's Missing Child Center-Hawaii.
A test is conducted twice per year to ensure that equipment and procedures in each county are working properly. Today's test will be initiated by Hawaii County police.
So far, the alert has been activated just once, on June 22, 2005. A mother left her 4-month-old daughter in her vehicle with the engine running in the parking lot of the Nuuanu 7-Eleven. A thief stole the vehicle but abandoned it about an hour later in Moanalua. The girl was found uninjured in the vehicle.
Charlene Takeno, Missing Child Center-Hawaii director, said there is not enough evidence to determine whether the MAILE AMBER alert was a factor in the safe recovery of the child.