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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The state?s Amber Alert program received nearly 1,200 new partners as New Mexico Lottery retailers became the latest tool to help find kidnapped children.
The New Mexico Lottery Authority, its licensed retailers statewide and the lottery's online gaming system provider, GTECH, are joining the N.M. State Police and local law enforcement agencies as Amber Alert participants. Lottery and state police representatives helped activate the program at a Winners convenience store to demonstrate how information is sent to stores across the state.
"Once state police activate an Amber Alert, the lottery and GTECH are notified along with local law enforcement and the news media," said Lottery CEO Tom Shaheen. "The information is quickly reviewed, and within a matter of minutes it is sent to every lottery terminal in New Mexico."
A missing child's name, age, weight, height, hair and eye color and, when possible, suspect and vehicle description, will be posted, said State Police Chief Carlos Maldonado. A short Amber Alert message is then displayed on lottery terminal screens allowing retailers to print out copies of the detailed alert and post information at the store.
"With stores and employees across the state, Winners knows that the first hours after a child's abduction are crucial," said Winners vice president of operations Jerry Sutton. "We're pleased to join the New Mexico Lottery and State Police. We're ready to help with this program, but hope we never have to."
GTECH has already helped launch Amber Alert efforts for 10 U.S. lotteries. About 20 state lotteries nationwide have lined their support of the Amber Alert program. The program is named after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted in Arlington, Texas, and later found murdered.
CAPTION: New Mexico Lottery CEO Tom Shaheen (left) and New Mexico State Police Chief Carlos Maldonado answer questions at a Winners convenience store as the Amber Alert program comes on line for nearly 1,200 lottery retailers in the state.