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11/24/2009 2:15:05 PM

COLUMBIA, SC (November 24, 2009) What looks like a typical television screen is an additional resource for broadcasting an emergency message when a child is missing.

The Player Information Display (PID) is a new device the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) uses to present lottery information and, when necessary, AMBER Alerts.

Already, three AMBER Alerts have been broadcast to approximately 2,000 lottery retailers since PID deployment in August. PIDs are being installed weekly at additional lottery outlets providing a fast track to timely details concerning missing children across South Carolina.

"We have more than 3,500 retailer partners around the state," said SCEL Executive Director Paula Harper Bethea. "Immediately after receiving the information from SLED, we are able to broadcast AMBER Alerts to every corner of our state simultaneously. The new 15-inch LCD screens are attention grabbers, so the vital information is viewed right away," Bethea added.

At the time an AMBER Alert is issued, the Lottery's regular programming is halted to display only the AMBER Alert. Published against a bright yellow background, the Alert is hard to miss on the PID. Customers inside the retail location can view the Alert, any accompanying photos, and the telephone number to call if they have pertinent information to share with the authorities.

"The partnership between law enforcement, the public and media is what makes the AMBER Alert Program so successful," said Glenda Booth, SLED AMBER Alert Coordinator/Criminal Analyst. "The addition of the Lottery Commission's Player Information Displays will enable thousands of citizens across the state to view pictures of the suspect and child when the AMBER Alert is activated. In South Carolina, the AMBER Alert has been activated 35 times, with 44 recoveries," Booth reported.

SCEL has been a crime fighting colleague of SLED since 2003 when the first ticket terminals at retailers began transmitting emergency information. The new PIDs offer an advantage in providing lottery retailers with additional details and photographs to assist in the recovery of a missing child.

"We have received such positive remarks from our retailers," said Bethea. "They appreciate the vital service the PIDs supply and that it allows them to be part of the community's effort to find a missing child."

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