Amber Alert Guidance from U.S. Department of Justice
Spy Phone at September 24, 2019
The AMBER Alert System began in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnaped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, TX, and then brutally murdered. Other states and communities soon set up their own AMBER plans as the idea was adopted across the nation.
Every successful AMBER plan contains clearly defined activation criteria. The following guidance is designed to achieve a uniform, interoperable network of plans across the country, and to minimize potentially deadly delays because of confusion among varying jurisdictions. Summary of Department of Justice Recommended Criteria There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred. The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child. The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger. The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
As of September 2019 there have been 967 children successfully recovered through the AMBER Alert system.