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AMBER Alerts Coming To Instagram

(CBS DETROIT) -- Social media catches the eyes of millions across the country.

Eyes that are needed when a child goes missing.

"The situation of a child being taken is an unimaginable scenario and we know how life-saving AMBER Alerts can be in those situations where the community is alerted that a child has been taken or missing and everyone can become a helper," said META Social Impact Communication Manager Roya Winner.

Instagram is partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to bring the AMBER Alert System to its platform.

Facebook premiered AMBER Alert notifications back in 2015, helping to recover hundreds of kids.

"What we found on Facebook and now on Instagram is that the photo of the child, what they might be wearing, the car they might be in, all of that information is critical and visual and so when you see it in your feed directly," Winner said.

"If there's an AMBER Alert in the Detroit area you will get it directly in your feed now on Instagram."

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 1,100 children were successfully recovered through the AMBER Alert system as of May 1, 2022, and 123 were rescued through wireless emergency alerts.

Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington says the partnership is a good way to get the word out about missing kids.

"It's very serious to us when one of our children for whatever reason come up missing. Whether it's through domestic issues, or whatever it is," Washington said.

"I'm glad to know that social media is getting into the position of being able to help parents."

When law enforcement activates an AMBER Alert, users in the target search area will see it in their Instagram feed.

A photo, description, location of last sighting and other details will be provided to encourage people to report sightings.

"I think everyone is in tuned to social media, gravitating to it and any kind of mediums we can have to keep awareness," Washington said.

"I think it's a good thing. I'm looking forward to it."

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