America's missing: broadcast emergency response
The AMBER Alert Plan is a voluntary, cooperative partnership between law-enforcement agencies and local radio and television broadcasters to broadcast an emergency bulletin to the public when a child has been abducted and it is believed that the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
Under the AMBER Alert Plan, area radio and television stations interrupt regular programming to broadcast information about the missing child using the Emergency Alert System, formerly known as the Emergency Broadcast System.
The purpose of the AMBER ALERT is to provide a rapid response to child-abduction cases.
When an AMBER ALERT is activated, law-enforcement agencies immediately gain the assistance of thousands of broadcast listeners and viewers.
The AMBER Alert Plan relies on the community to assist in the safe recover of the abducted child by providing additional eyes and ears to law enforcement as they search for the abducted child.
It is hoped that this early warning system will coerce a kidnaper into releasing the child for fear of being arrested, but also, serve as a deterrent to persons from committing this type of crime in the first place
U.S. Department of Justice Recommended AMBER Alert Criteria
1. Law Enforcement officials have a reasonable belief that an abuduction has occurred.
2. Law Enforcement officials believe that the child is in immediate danger of serious injury or death.
3. Enough descriptive information exists about the victim and the abductor for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert.
4. The victim of the abduction is a child age 17 years or younger.
5. The child's name and other critical data elements - including the child abduction (CA) and AMBER Alert (AA) flags - have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
For more information about the AMBER Alert program contact www.amberalert.gov