FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – After 8-year-old Salem Sabatka was found safe, questions about Amber Alerts started coming in, with many people saying they didn’t receive one.
Fort Worth police say just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18, they were notified Sabatka had been kidnapped. By 9:00 p.m. they decided to send what information they had to the Amber Alert Center at TexasDPS in Austin, which handles statewide alerts.
DPS says even though the information did not meet their criteria, since license plate information was not available, they decided to go with it.
At 11:00 p.m. Saturday, an alert was posted on the Texas Alerts Twitter account and distributed to law enforcement statewide, but it was not sent as a wireless alert, because current policy prohibits that between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
At 6:00 a.m. the next day, the Amber Alert was scheduled to go out, but Sabatka was found overnight.
Fort Worth Police could have also issued a Regional Amber Alert, but officials there said when it comes to notifying radio stations, they have to fax the information. Their fax machine was broken.
Since then, the department said it implemented changes.
The Fort Worth Police Department said it will now email any Amber Alert submission to its communications division, who will then make sure the fax is delivered to the appropriate outlets.