Amber Alerts Not Affected by Gov't Shutdown

The Department of Justice's Amber Alert site was down Sunday, but the alerts system continued to operate

The Department of Justice's Amber Alert website went back online Monday a day after it displayed a sparse, white screen with a message that it was a victim of the government shutdown.

"Due to the lapse in federal funding, this Office of Justice Programs (OJP) website is unavailable," the message read Sunday, just below a U.S. Department of Justice seal.

The website, which provides information, statistics and background about Amber Alerts and a link to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for active alerts, was back online Monday morning. The shutdown did not affect the actual alerts system.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children posted a message on its homepage Monday, addressing the shutdown and clarifying that the alert system was still operating.

"The distribution of AMBER Alerts has not been affected by the recent government shutdown," the message stated.

The process for issuing an Amber Alert, an emergency alert system designed to help find abducted children, is determined on a state-by-state basis. California Highway Patrol officials told NBC4 that if an Amber Alert is issued in California, authorities will notify the media.

California recently used the Amber Alert system when a San Diego County man killed a close friend and her child, then kidnapped her daughter, Hannah Anderson, a teenager. FBI agents later found her safe and fatally shot her captor in Idaho, after hikers happened upon the pair in the wilderness and later saw media reports about her case.

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