Amber Alerts: When are they issued?

Amber Alerts help notify the public when a child is taken and when others should be on the lookout.

The program is a voluntary partnership with law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation and other agencies to alert the public and help the child return home safely.

During an alert, an urgent news bulletin is broadcast over the airwaves, highway alert signs and a variety of other notification systems.

However, there is criteria set by the program for when an Amber Alert can be issued.

The following must be met to issue an Amber Alert:

• Law enforcement confirms the child is under 18 years of age.

• Law enforcement believes the abduction poses a credible threat of immediate danger or serious bodily harm or death to the child.

• There is sufficient descriptive information about the child, the suspect and/or the circumstances surrounding the abduction to believe that activation of the alert will help locate the child.

• A law enforcement agency determines the child is not a runaway and has not been abducted as a result of a family abduction, unless the investigation determines the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death.

About the Author