DENVER, July 14, 2003 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced a company-wide initiative to bolster AMBER Alert child abduction search programs from its facilities across the United States. Qwest will use a communication system that notifies 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.
?We?re using our technology and employees, especially technicians in the field, for the benefit of the communities in which we live,? said Augie Cruciotti, executive vice president for Qwest?s network services group. ?This program embodies Qwest?s Spirit of Service and will contribute to the safe recovery effort of abducted children.?
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.
?The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) commends Qwest for supporting its states? AMBER Plans in fighting against serious child abductions,? said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. ?By quickly galvanizing its personnel and retirees to aid in the search, Qwest will enhance law enforcement efforts in trying to bring children home safely.?
Qwest will receive alerts and distribute them?on a state-specific basis?directly to technicians through its broadcast paging system. Depending on the case, alerts may be sent to more than one state. Qwest technicians responding to an AMBER Alert will contact law enforcement authorities by calling 9-1-1. Qwest employees and retirees will receive targeted e-mails that will direct them to an intranet Web site, which will provide greater detail.
The Communications Workers of America District 7, whose membership includes thousands of Qwest technicians, has also pledged its support of the program.
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show that nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year (more than 2,000 per day). Some 58,000 children are abducted by non-family members. One hundred and fifteen children are the victims of the most serious, most long-term abductions. Initial missing-child reports are typically made more than two hours after the incident.
B-Roll will be available for broadcasters at http://www.thenewsmarket.com/qwest Monday, July 14, after 6 a.m. EDT.
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 50,000 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.
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