By Alexa Williams
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is hoping to reach an even bigger audience with the power of social media. It's a part of their new partnership with Facebook.
We've all seen Amber Alerts or missing children on our Facebook timelines, but now even if you haven't liked the Amber Alert Facebook page and a child goes missing in your region, you're going to be notified as soon as you open your account.
"In the past it's been billboards, signs and a lot of it has just been on the roadway. We've also received alerts via phone," Steve LeSueur, with the Odessa Police Department and the Regional Amber Alert Coordinator, said.
Since 1996, the Amber Alert system has recovered over 700 children. But now the program is upping the ante when it comes to tracking down missing children.
"As of today (Tuesday), the Amber Alert program, as well as Facebook, is teaming up to make Amber Alerts a top priority," LeSueur said.
LeSueur added the Amber Alert program recognizes the power of social media and they plan to use that in their favor.
"This is going to be on a regional basis. Social media is such an excellent way of finding things," LeSueur said.
From social media to the app store, various advocates are using technology to their advantage. A new app, Safety Savvy, was just launched last month by the Texas Center For the Missing.
"It's an excellent way to educate yourself as well as your kids on the importance of child safety," LeSueur said.
The app even talks about senior safety and how to prevent silver alerts.