Amber Alert Site Back Up after Public Backlash

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The website for the nation's Amber Alert system is back up and running after being offline because of the government shutdown.

Amber Alerts use radio, television, and the Internet to assist local law enforcement agencies in the search for abducted children.

But on Monday the Justice Department posted a note on the page saying it was closed due to the government shutdown. 

After widespread public outrage, the DOJ's public affairs officer tweeted that while the site was taken down, the rest of the alert system was still functioning.

DOJ soon put the site back up, but only after many had protested, asking what if a child went missing while the site was offline.

"Certainly don't let victims be further victimized because of your bickering, your unwillingness to get along," David Smith, police chief in Augusta, Ga., said.

Smith's own nephew has been missing for 20 years. He said he's confused about why the site was ever taken down because every second matters when a child is abducted, and every chance to show that child's face on the Internet could be invaluable.

"Speaking from my own experience, whenever a child is missing, you may have a few hours, you may have a few minutes, you just don't know," he said.

The Justice Department reported that a person was taken off of furlough to reopen the Amber Alert website.

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