A Levi’s Call is Georgia’s version of an alert for a child abduction. It is part of the national AMBER Alert program that began in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1996, and is now coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response program was created after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and later found murdered.
Georgia was among several other states and communities that created their own versions of the AMBER Alert system.
The Levi’s Call was named after 11-year-old Levi Frady, a Forsyth County six-grader who was found dead in the woods in a neighboring county in 1997. Frady’s murder had never been solved.
When was the first Levi’s Call issued?
The first Levi’s Call was issued on Aug. 11, 2002, on behalf of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, but it was cancelled the same day. The first time the alert was issued for a Georgia case was on March 7, 2003 for a child taken from a Walmart in Griffin. It too was canceled the same day when the child was found alive.
How many Levi’s Calls have been issued?
In more than 15 years, 187 Levi’s Calls have been issued for Georgia children as well as children from other states, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which handles the abduction alerts. Seven of those children were found dead but the other 180 were found safe.
What circumstances are required for a Levi’s Call?
Law enforcement must have a reasonable belief that a child 17 or younger has been abducted and is in danger. There must be enough information to identify a suspected abductor and a description of the vehicle they may be driving. A Levi’s Call will not be issued for runaways or in cases of non-custodial abductions in which the child is not in danger.
How is an alert issued?
Local law enforcement agencies contact the GBI, which determines if a Levi’s Call is justified. If it is, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency distributes a bulletin — either regionally or statewide. TV and radio stations are asked to broadcast the alert twice an hour for three hours or until the alert is lifted, and the alert is also posted on digital highway signs.
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