A Black inventor has launched the country’s first wireless child protection service.
Stars like Ciara, Raven-Symone Doug E. Fresh, Trey Songz and Robin Thicke were on hand for the launch of the AMBER Ready program, created by Kai D. Patterson.
AMBER Ready is a system that lets subscribers store their kid’s picture, description and other information in their wireless devices (like a Blackberry or an iPhone). If their child ever goes missing, parents can immediately send out all that information to police, various news outlets, airports and the AMBER alert network. AMBER Ready also acts as a deterrent for child predators.
Kai, a former NASA engineer, came up with the idea for the system after a colleagues’ child was declared missing six years ago. Amber Ready saves precious time in searching for a lost child that is often lost because there wasn’t a nearly instaneous system to announce such an emergency. Those are hours that could save a child’s life because research has shown that kidnappers will often kill their victims within three hours of abduction.
Although the system is a valuable application for families of all races, Kai has targeted the program at helping African-American children who made 35 percent of missing children in the U.S., according to data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That figure is actually up two percent from two years ago. The most staggering statistic is that when looking at Black kids between the ages of 13 and17 who are kidnapped by someone outside of the family, the total goes up to 42 percent.
Kai used $12 million in funding from John Thomas Financial to develop AMBER Ready, and it is not available to consumers. A two-year enrollment in the program costs $50 per household no matter how many children you have. For more information on AMBER Ready, visit the official Web site or call 1-866-60-AMBER.
— Sonya Eskridge