The RILYA Alert system was created to help spread awareness about the disproportionate amount of media attention that missing African American Children receive. This alert system helps to bridge this discrepancy by shortening the response time in which crucial information is shared with the public. It is transmitted to the public electronically, similar to the Amber Alert, but without their stringent criteria that can impede progress or immediate attention or action. The RIYLA Alert is not meant to replace the Amber Alert System. It simply bridges the gap where the Amber Alert excludes or does not engage due to program criteria.
Rilya Wilson, whose name stands for Remember I Love You Always, was a 4-year-old child in Florida’s DCFS custody when she disappeared. She was missing for almost two years before anyone in that organization noticed. This Alert system is named in her honor, as it is our fundamental belief that everyone should be made aware when a child is missing, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, or age. Moreover, every child should be considered a national priority once reported or labeled as a missing person.
Please note that although the RILYA Alert gives a voice and needed attention to those who normally go ignored, there are still a few requirements:
• The abduction must be of a child age 17 years old or younger.
• The parent must have contacted law enforcement to report child missing.
• The law-enforcement agency believes the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
A RILYA Alert may also be issued if the child is classified as a runaway by the police. We recognize that at times, not all information is readily available (ie. license plate numbers, name of abductor, or witness to abduction. In such cases, the available information will be reviewed and verified prior to RILYA Alert.
All children of color meeting the criteria for the Amber Alert will also receive the RILYA Alert since it is recognized that a significant disparity exists in how many children of color receive an Amber Alert despite being in imminent danger. However, no missing child is excluded from receiving the RILYA alert.
If the criteria are met, alert information is assembled for public distribution. This information may include descriptions and pictures of the missing child, the suspected abductor, and a suspected vehicle along with any other information available and valuable to identifying the child and suspect.
***The staff at Peas In Their Pods respectfully requests that any organization posting information removes pictures from their site once a child is found.***