Networking and Collaboration at Fort McDowell

Dialogue, networking and collaboration at Fort McDowell, Arizona, mark the commencement of AMBER Alert training and technical assistance under the 2018 Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert Indian Country law.

Tribal leaders, law enforcement, and child protection advocates came together September 25-26 in Fort McDowell, Arizona, to learn, dialogue and network at the inaugural session of what will be a series of collaborative training and technical assistance events under the new Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country law. The AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (AATTAP) delivered the event under the direction of the US Department of Justice, and featured presentations by: Pamela Foster, mother of Ashlynne; the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC); the Arizona State AMBER Alert Coordinator; NCJTC Associates who serve as subject matter experts in Indian Country law and AMBER Alert implementation; and AATTAP Administrator Jim Walters.

Topics discussed included lessons learned from the 2008 – 2010 AMBER in Indian Country pilot project, Tribal access to the Arizona State AMBER Alert System, facilitated discussions on Tribal resources and AMBER Alert planning, as well as important next steps and recommended actions for implementing AMBER Alert and developing comprehensive child protection strategies.

The primary mission of the AMBER Alert in Indian Country (AIIC) initiative is to design, develop and implement AMBER Alert programs in Indian Country; to foster relationships between tribes and their State and Regional AMBER Alert plans and partners; and to provide tribal communities with training and resources to quickly recover missing, abducted or exploited children.

AATTAP has developed a five-element process for implementing AMBER Alert in Indian Country under the new law. That process involves educating and informing, assessing needs, conducting meetings, developing tribal resolutions and partnership agreements with state AMBER Alert systems, and delivering training and technical assistance to ensure the support needed is provided every step of the way.  Watch future issues of the Advocate for updates and progress as AATTAP works with tribes across the country to bring AMBER Alert into full realization in Indian Country.