Navajo Nation making progress on Amber Alert system

FILE - In this May 4, 2016, file photo, Klandre Willie, left, and her mother, Jaycelyn Blackie, participate in a candlelight vigil for Ashlynne Mike at the San Juan Chapter House in Lower Fruitland, N.M. The FBI said Ashlynne was abducted after school and her body was found the next day. The death of the young Navajo Nation girl is fueling efforts to create an Amber Alert plan on the vast reservation. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP, File)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation leaders say the tribe is making progress on a public emergency alert system that can broadcast Amber Alerts and other notifications across the expansive reservation.

Officials say the tribe will be using the federal government’s internet-based Public Alert and Warning System, or IPAWS.

The next step is for the tribe to purchase software that will allow the system to be fully functional across its lands in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

Officials expect the system to be active within weeks, and training on issuing Amber Alerts will begin for law enforcement this month.

The efforts are in response to a deadly abduction in 2016 that raised concerns over the fact that the nation’s largest American Indian reservation did not have its own system to issue alerts about child abductions.