June 30, 2005
Police in Wisconsin are crediting General Motors’ OnStar system and the
AMBER Alert program with the successful rescue of a 17-month-old child
taken last Thursday from his mother’s home.
Although this was a stolen vehicle, the child, who was the subject of an
AMBER Alert, was recovered in good condition hours after several men were
arrested in connection with beating the child’s mother, abducting the
child and stealing the mother’s 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix, which was
equipped with the OnStar safety and security system.
Police saved precious time by working with an OnStar advisor to locate
the stolen vehicle and, later, two suspects. Through questioning, a third
suspect who was holding the child was located.
“OnStar played a huge role in finding this child,” said Greenfield, Wis.
Police Lt. Brad Wentlandt, who coordinates emergency dispatch operations.
“All of our personnel were aware of OnStar’s capabilities after OnStar
sent us a video training kit recently.” The educational OnStar training
kit teaches emergency service personnel how to interact with OnStar
personnel to take full advantage of the GPS-enabled technology. Based on
that, officers correctly assumed that the GM-made Pontiac was equipped
with OnStar. “This child is safe today because of a great combination of
OnStar’s service and excellent police work,” Wentlandt said.
“This is the kind of moment that motivates all of us to come to work
every day,” said Cathy McCormick, OnStar Service Line Manager of
Emergency Services. “When a child is missing, every second counts to
increase the likelihood of a safe return. OnStar is happy – humbled,
really – to be able to share our technology with law enforcement to
recover a missing child.”
OnStar joined with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
last year in an effort to use OnStar technology and its more than 3
million subscribers to locate missing and abducted children. NCMEC helped
develop the AMBER Alert program nationwide, a successful partnership
between the nation’s law enforcement agencies and radio and television
stations that activates emergency bulletins to the public when a child is
abducted and believed to be in danger.
“We know that just one lead can result in finding a child,” said Ernie
Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. “OnStar technology and the AMBER Alert
program give law enforcement officers an advantage they need to find
missing and abducted children and bring them home safely.”
An OnStar subscriber who wants to report emergency information related to
an AMBER alert or a lost child can press the red OnStar emergency button
in his or her vehicle. Immediately, the subscriber will be connected with
an OnStar emergency services advisor, who will expedite the call to a 911
Each month, GM’s OnStar receives about 14,000 emergency assistance calls,
as well as 4,500 Good Samaritan calls. OnStar call centers are staffed 24
hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. OnStar is available to
subscribers and the nation’s 6,000 emergency 911 centers in all 50 states
and every Canadian province.
©2005 Allied Business Intelligence