Monday, April 25, 2011

While much of our attention focuses on missing children, thousands of adults are reported missing each year.

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation inspired by a Connecticut man, who disappeared in 2004, to help families of missing adults.

The legislation is named after Billy Smolinski of Waterbury, who went missing on August 24, 2004 at the age of 31. Billy's family has experienced many obstacles in searching for their missing son, including the fact that federal law mandates law enforcement report missing children, but not adults or unidentified remains. While law enforcement can voluntarily report this information to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a lack of resources and knowledge of the system often prevents them from doing so.

Unlike National Amber Alerts, Code Amber publishes real-time official law enforcement reports of missing persons in the US and Canada and maintains a online data base of those cases. While only a small percentage of Missing Persons Reports are actually criminal abductions, the anguish experienced by loved ones is unbearable.

The opportunity to become a watchful spotter is extended to everyone via the Free Code Amber Ticker and "Missing" App for smart phones. Going missing can happen to anyone, anytime, any where.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

US kidnapping statistics have not been routinely kept,

and is not one of the crimes included in the FBI's national Uniform Crime Reporting database.

  • There is approximately one child abduction murder for every 10,000 missing child reports.
  • It is possible that the crime was committed by a family member. Finkelhor & Ormrod state that family kidnapping is committed primarily by parents, and has a 43% likelihood of being the female partner, much higher than in other kidnapping types.
  • Family kidnapping happens equally to children of both sexes.
  • 49% of juvenile kidnapping offences are family kidnappings, 27% acquaintance kidnappings and only 24% are stranger kidnappings.
  • Acquaintance kidnapping involves a "comparatively high percentage of juvenile perpetrators, has the largest percentage of female and teenage victim, is more often associated with other crimes (especially sexual and physical assault), occurs at homes and residences and has the highest percentage of injured victims."
  • Stranger kidnapping "victimizes more females than males, occurs primarily at outdoor locations, victimizes both teenagers and school-age children, is associated with sexual assaults in the case of girl victims and robberies in the case of boy victims, and is the type of kidnapping most likely to involve the use of a firearm."
It's smarter the have a Code Amber Alertag and not need it than to need it and not have one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dial for H-E-L-P

The Congressional E-911 Caucus has introduced legislation to upgrade the country's 911 technology, by passing "The Next Generation 911 Preservation Act of 2010." Passage will provide grant funding for the nation's 6,000 911 facilities.

State taxes on phone bills currently fund the 911 call centers which receive more than 650,000 emergency calls daily. The Next Generation 911Preservation Act provides a five year federal grant program to support state 911 services and upgrade the technology.

One persistent problem with mobile phones making assistance calls, was electronically identifying the location of the caller as there is with landlines. GPS LBS is doing much to alleviate that concern. Researchers predict the U.S. GPS LBS market will grow at an annual rate of 43.1 percent through 2010.

Unfortunately, the number of potential Alzheimer's victims that will wander off and become lost will increase exponentially as the boomer generation grows older and will place significant demands on the system. A situation demanding a Code Amber Alertag.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Errors still common in U.S. hospitals

CHICAGO (Reuters) – About one in three people in the United States will encounter some kind of mistake during a hospital stay, U.S. researchers said Thursday.

The finding, which is based on a new tool for measuring hospital errors, is about 10 times higher than estimates using older methods, suggesting much work remains in efforts to improve health quality.

"Without doubt, we've seen improvements in health care over the past decade, and even pockets of excellence, but overall progress has been agonizingly slow," said Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, which published several studies on a special issue on patient safety.

The special issue came 10 years after an influential Institute of Medicine report that found significant gaps in health quality. Read the complete article.

Having a Code Amber Alertag will help avoid these errors.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do I know you? Let me count the ways.

Finger prints, voice recognition, retinal scan, blood type, DNA markers, dental imagery, purchases, product serial numbers, account numbers, passwords, URLs, IP addresses and now your personal bar code define and identify you as the one and only you.

We don't have to ask if big brother is watching, but rather learn how and discover what advantages to us will access of our personal information by others provide and how to protect it from unauthorized access. As much as we love our traditions, our lifestyles are forever altered by emerging new technologies. We find ourselves using mobile smart phones for so much more than conversations. Besides the games, navigation, txting and music downloads, we retrieve comparative information, read reviews, make price comparisons, re-think our purchasing decisions and engage in wireless transactions while leaving GPS trackable footprints everywhere we go. We locate missing persons, find our friends and pay our bills with our phones. And in an emergency, when a prescription or an allergy can make a diagnostic difference in a medical treatment, our 3G cell phone can retrieve our Personal Health Records providing professionals with essential life and death information.

How will they be assured that we say we who we say we are? The QR Barcode... our own 2D personal product identification code will take care of that.

It is smarter to have a Code Amber Alertag and not need it, than to need it and have one.