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New Amber Alert technology shares information in real time

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DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- 767 children nationwide have been rescued and safely returned thanks to amber alert systems, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Here in Illinois the Amber Alert Task Force is adding new technology to distribute information in real time.

Illinois is the 10th state to sign on to this new technology called LEAP or Law Enforcement Alerting Portal.

It's a free, web-based program so no new technology is needed which allows amber alerts to go out within 10 to 15 minutes.

In the past it would take two to three times longer.

The criteria to issue an amber alert remains the same and you will still see the information posted on electronic billboards, but now instead of having to enter the information into several different systems, using different programs and logins the information can be entered in one place.

Something else new is the technology allows cell phone providers to notify customers with smartphones and other devices who are in the area of the alert and send them messages.

In the past people had to sign up for the program. Now everyone will receive alerts unless they opt out of the program.

The system has been used five times since last August and in all five cases the children were safely rescued and reunited with their parent or guardian.

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