TN lawmakers explore changing rules for issuing AMBER Alerts

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee lawmakers are pushing for change and reevaluating the process for issuing AMBER Alerts in the state.

This comes a few months after 3-year-old Noah Clare was kidnapped by his father.

It took ten days for the state to issue an AMBER Alert in the case. The boy was found safe after two weeks.

Noah’s family believes an emergency alert should have been issued sooner.

Johnny Garrett — State Representative for Sumner County — said Monday was a productive day as he met with the Clare family for the first time.

“When we can hear from a family who has gone through this, it gives us a firsthand experience so we can understand and hopefully make it better for them or if another family has to go through this again,” Rep. Garrett said.

Rep. Garrett wants to make sure law enforcement agencies have every tool at their disposal to be able to bring every one of these children back home.

“We can improve the process. We can improve communication between law enforcement and the local authority so they can do everything they can in this instance to bring home an abducted child or child that’s missing,” Rep. Garrett said.

He said Monday was the first of many more discussions in the near future.

“Nothing at this point I can say is perfect but we always want to make sure that the investigation or at least the result is perfect,” Rep. Garrett said.

The Republican leader explained AMBER Alerts work well and the community has as big of a role as lawmakers.

“I believe, from my perspective, I learned some things from them. I think law enforcement learned some things through their efforts from social media because their efforts in able to push Noah’s case through the social media network undoubtedly helped bring Noah home,” Rep. Garrett said.

Although Monday was only the first meeting, lawmakers are already reviewing how to make this process a better one. 

“One of the things I think we could potentially look at is if we issued an Endangered Child Alert there may be a way we could send that message to peoples phones or on a billboard in at least Tennessee that does the similar action that an AMBER Alert does,” Rep. Garrett said.

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