TORONTO, Oct 8 /CNW/ -


At a news conference today, members of the Ontario AMBER Alert program launched an effective new broadcast tool and announced an important new partner to help police locate abducted children when an AMBER Alert is initiated anywhere in Ontario.   

Ontario AMBER Alert partners have teamed up with Facebook to create a special AMBER Alert Facebook page on this popular social media network.  The Facebook page will now broadcast all AMBER Alerts that are issued in the province, and Facebook users who subscribe to this new page will receive critical AMBER Alert information when police activate the system.     

This new partnership was forged through the efforts of the New Brunswick-based child safety non-profit Child Safety Research and Innovation Centre along with WiredSafety.org, a key member of Facebook's Security Advisory Board.


"The public's help is critical in locating an abducted child and thanks to our new partner Facebook, we now have a special AMBER Alert Facebook page we can use as an important broadcast medium when we issue AMBER Alerts in Ontario." - Chris D. Lewis, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police.

"The expansion of the AMBER Alert program to Facebook will provide police with another tool to help locate abducted children, as well as give the families of these children the additional comfort of knowing that we are able to do more to improve the safety of our children.". - Jim Bradley, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

""Protecting children is a responsibility shared by parents, educators, members of the public sector, and companies like Facebook.  "As a father of two, I sincerely hope that we never again have to activate an AMBER alert in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada. However, we are thrilled to be part of this important initiative and would like to thank the many AMBER Alert partners for their dedication to it.  I'm also proud that Canada is the first country in the world to broadcast AMBER alerts via Facebook." - Jordan Banks, Managing Director, Facebook Canada.


  • The Ontario Provincial Police facilitates the program under the direction of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and collaborates with its many partners throughout the province to locate children who are abducted in Ontario.      
  • As part of new recommendations that were implemented in 2009, the program now has a dedicated AMBER Alert Coordinator who is responsible for all aspects of the program, including training, education/awareness, communication, ongoing enhancements and expansion of the program.


AMBER Alert Backgrounder

AMBER Alert Page on opp.ca website







  • With its large user base and a platform that is conducive to communication and information sharing, Facebook is an ideal medium from which to broadcast AMBER Alerts.
  • Ontario is the third province to acquire the ability to send out AMBER Alerts over Facebook.
  • New Brunswick launched an AMBER Alert Facebook page on July 21, 2010 and Prince Edward Island launched one on August 26, 2010.
  • The Ontario AMBER Alert Program was established in 2003 as a voluntary, cooperative plan between radio/television stations, the Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • The OPP is designated to facilitate the AMBER Alert Program which is available to all Ontario law enforcement agencies. The decision to issue an AMBER Alert is operational in nature and is made by the investigating police service in consultation with the OPP.
  • Since 2003, there have been 19 AMBER Alert activations in Ontario, 4 since the 2009 review of the Ontario AMBER Alert program. Of these cases, 16 children were recovered. It is difficult to discern how great a role the AMBER Alert played in some of the successful recoveries, but in certain cases it was significant.
  • The Ontario AMBER Alert program is an important tool for public safety. Every effort must be made to maintain and improve the program.
  • Information obtained quickly through an AMBER Alert may assist in the safe and swift return of abducted children. The main objective is always the safe return of the child.
  • Guidelines for requesting the OPP initiate an AMBER Alert are distributed to all Ontario Police Services. The guidelines are used for ensuring any alerts are appropriate.
  • In May, 2009 the OPP called together members of the AMBER Alert Steering Committee and additional stakeholders for a review of the program from which new guidelines were set.
  • The new guidelines for issuing an AMBER Alert are:
  • 1) Law enforcement agency believes a child under the age of 18 has been abducted;
    2) Law enforcement agency believes the child is in danger;
    3) There is descriptive information about one or more of the following: child; abductor; vehicle; to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help in locating the child.
  • As part of the 2009 review, a dedicated AMBER Alert Coordinator was appointed and is responsible for all aspects of the program, including training, education/awareness, communication, ongoing enhancements and expansion of the program.

Ontario AMBER Alert Stakeholder members 

  • The Ontario Association of Broadcasters
  • The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
  • The Ontario Provincial Police
  • Child Find Ontario
  • The Ontario Ministry of Transportation
  • The Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
  • Toronto Police Service
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Ottawa Police Service
  • Ontario Media Relations Officers Network
  • Missing Children Society of Canada
  • Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness
  • The Canadian Press
  • National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (US)
  • Amber Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (Fox Valley Technical Institute - United States)
  • MAC'S Convenience Stores
  • Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association
  • MyThum
  • Facebook Canada
  • Child Safety Research an Innovation Centre
  • WiredSafety.org

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information: For further information:

OPP Sgt. Steve Montpetit, Ontario AMBER Alert Coordinator      

Phone:  (705) 794-7065

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