DENVER, May 25, 2004 ? Qwest Communications today reaffirmed its support of key national and local programs aimed at finding and protecting America?s missing children as it observes National Missing Children?s Day today, established as a national call to vigilance.
Since announcing its participation in the AMBER Alert child abduction search programs last July, tens of thousands of Qwest employees across the United States have participated in nearly 20 AMBER Alerts across its 14-state region. Qwest uses a communication system that notifies nearly 50,000 employees, including 10,000 Qwest field technicians, as well as 40,000 retirees to be on the lookout when an alert has been triggered.
?It is gratifying to actively contribute with technology and tens of thousands of Qwest employees in these vital, time-sensitive calls to action,? said Barry K. Allen, executive vice president for Qwest?s operations. ?We?re committed to ongoing support of this and other efforts that embodies Qwest?s Spirit of Service.?
The AMBER Plan, which stands for America?s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, was established in response to the 1996 abduction and murder of nine year-old Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas. It is a partnership between law enforcement agencies and broadcasters to activate an urgent bulletin in child-abduction cases. The goal of the AMBER Alert is to enlist community support in the search for and safe recovery of the abducted child.
?Qwest employees have proven to be valuable partners,? said National Center for Missing & Exploited Children President and CEO Ernie Allen. ?Their help has assisted state and local law enforcement in searching for missing children. We are truly grateful for their support.?
In addition to participating in AMBER Plan, the Qwest Foundation has granted more than $100,000 to fund the LOCATER® program and Project ALERT programs in the communities Qwest serves. LOCATER, which stands for Lost Child Alert Technology Resource, is a program to hasten the recovery of missing and abducted children by providing law-enforcement agencies the technology to create high-quality missing-child posters for distribution and electronic transmission to agencies, the media, and the public.
Project ALERT is a corps of more than 130 retired federal, state, and local law-enforcement professionals who volunteer their time and expertise as consultants to the law-enforcement community. Project ALERT representatives participate in a variety of assignments including missing-child case evaluations, technical meetings with law-enforcement personnel to discuss resources, and community-awareness initiatives.
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show that nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year (an average of more than 2,000 per day). More than 203,000 were abducted by family members. Some 58,000 children are abducted by non-family members. One hundred and fifteen children are the victims of the most serious kinds of nonfamily abductions know as ?stereotypical kidnappings.?
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 47,000 employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
NCMEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC's congressionally mandated CyberTipline, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 240,000 leads. Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 98,000 missing child. For more information, please visit www.missingkids.com or call toll-free 1-800-THE-LOST.
Forward Looking Statement Note
This release may contain projections and other forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures and certain transactions; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the likelihood of certain of our competitors emerging from bankruptcy court protection or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure and competing effectively against us; changes in demand for our products and services; acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels; higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies.
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