The Code Blue: Missing Child Email Alert System was incepted in late 2003, as a direct response to the questions posed to us by our clients. We were consistently being asked why an AMBER Alert had not
been issued for a missing child. We were forced to explain to distraught mothers and fathers that the AMBER Plan has very specific criteria that must be met before it can be issued by law enforcement. In addition, it is virtually never activated for parental abductions or runaways, which excludes 90 percent of our clients from this very effective method of public searching. If you would like to know more about the AMBER Alert please click here.
We do not believe that an AMBER Alert should be issued for every case: to date more than 100 children have been found as a direct result of the AMBER Alert. It has achieved its desired goals and continues to be a great tool for law enforcement. However, we donâ€™t feel that non-family abductions are the only cases that deserve public attention and media coverage.
We routinely issue press releases for cases that contain some element of endangerment, but there is no guarantee that a runaway or a parentally abducted child will make it onto the local news. Therefore, we started to brainstorm about alternative ways to get the public involved in looking for missing children. Everyone knows that ten pairs of eyes are better than two, and one hundred pairs are better than ten. We wanted to be able to reach a large number or people without resorting to a phone tree or a mass mailing. We decided that email would be the most appropriate forum and Code Blue was born.
What It Is:
Code Blue is a voluntary subscription email list. We will not send you spam or solicitations and we will not sell your email address. This email list is ONLY to be used for missing child email alerts. Missing Children Minnesota works on approximately 100 new cases every year. About 50 percent of these cases benefit by involving the public in the search for a missing child.
Why Itâ€™s Needed:
In some of our cases, we know exactly where a “missing” child is: a teenage runaway may be staying with a friend, a relative or a boyfriend, or a boy abducted by his father may be at his grandmotherâ€™s home. In the remainder of our cases, we have no knowledge of the childâ€™s whereabouts and the first and most crucial step is to locate the child. Code Blue is another resource for us to use to achieve that goal.
How It Works:
When we take in a new case, we create a poster and complete an initial intake report with the parent or guardian of the child. From there, an email will be generated for the subscription list. The email will always be from
[email protected] and will always have “Code Blue: Missing Child Alert!” as the subject. The email will contain very basic information and will have a link to the Code Blue webpage, which will have the most up-to-date information about the case, including pictures, physical description and a copy of the missing poster.
Why Don’t You Just Send the Poster?
In 1999 a little girl from Southern Minnesota went missing in her neighborhood. Her family sent out a mass email containing her picture and plea for information. She was found less than 2 hours later Â but the familyâ€™s email was never recanted. The sameÂ email about the missing girl made it all the way to NASA almost one year later:fortunately they called us to check if the case was still active before forwarding the email all across the globe!Â We still receive emails about the little girl on a regular bases and it has now achieved the status of an urban legend, making regular rounds on the internet. This is the reason we donâ€™t just send out the poster. — To put it bluntly, thereâ€™s no kill switch. — EmailsÂ are forwarded from person to person with little record of the recipients;Â its nearly impossible to recant something thatÂ reached hundreds of thousands of people. By providing the most basic information with a link to the Code Blue webpage we maintain control of the situation. When the child is found the information can be removed.
We believe that Code Blue is an excellent, workable system in which the public can really make a difference. Please consider signing up today — you may be the one who helps us find a missing child.
Yes, Sign Me Up!
Ford Centre, Suite 570, 420 North 5th St. • Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 334-9449, Toll Free 1-888-RUN-YELL (888) 786-9355