New Policy In Iowa For Issuing Amber Alert - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

New Policy In Iowa For Issuing Amber Alert

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Iowa legislators took steps Thursday, August 1, 2013, in the hopes of better protecting children, making policy changes to the way an Amber Alert is issued.

It's a very small change, but it could have a big impact.

Last year, Iowa cousins, Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook went missing and were later found dead in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in Bremer County.

But, an Amber Alert was never issued because officers had no suspect or description of the vehicle.

Now, the wording is changing.

Previously, the code required "a description of the child, abductor, and/or suspects vehicle," in order to issue an alert.

Now, the 'and' has been struck from the code.

Its just three letters, but police say it's a huge step forward for clarity.

"When you took the old criteria, if you showed it to seven different officers, they would have interpreted it seven different ways," says Dan Trelka, Waterloo Director of Safety Services.

Trelka says a clearer policy is easier to enact quickly. And time is critical in child abduction cases.

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