The Amber alert system will expand today to include notification to truckers statewide of child abductions under a partnership between the state and the California Trucking Assn., the lieutenant governor said Monday.
Under the plan, the California Highway Patrol, which issues Amber Alerts, also will notify the truckers' organization, which will in turn alert its 2,000 member companies. They then will contact their drivers, a potential total of 38,000 truckers who can watch for vehicles that might be carrying kidnapped children.
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante said the partnership will particularly help authorities in searches late at night, when most motorists on California's highways are truck drivers.
"Within one or two hours, everyone can be notified, so in those precious moments in the late evening or early morning, what we're basically doing is adding eyes and ears in order to keep our children safe," Bustamante said.
Warren Hoemann, vice president of the Trucking Assn., said each company will contact its drivers as they normally do, using CB radios, cell phones or satellite phones.
Since being established in California on July 31 of this year, the Amber Alert system has helped authorities successfully rescue 18 kidnapping victims, Bustamante said.