What is Amber Alert? What are the criteria for activation?

An Amber Alert or a child abduction emergency alert is a message distributed by a child abduction alert system o ask the public for help in finding abducted children. In 1996 it originated in the US. After Amber Hagerman, the alert is named a 9-year-old girl abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas, in 1996.

More details about Amber Alert – 

Amber Alert in the US is distributed via commercial and public radio and TV stations, internet and satellite radio, text messages, and cable TV by the Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio. The alerts are issued via commercial electronic billboards, e-mail, electronic traffic-condition signs, or wireless device SMS text messages.

Amber Alert has also teamed up with Facebook, Google, and Bing to relay information regarding an ever-growing demographic. It is automatically displayed if anyone searches or uses map features on Bing or Google. People can see Amber Alert with Google child alert if they search for related information in a location where the child is abducted, and an alert was issued. Those people who want the alert through SMS then visit Wireless Amber Alerts, which are offered by law as free messages. 

 To declare an Amber Alert the decision is made by the police department investigating the case of the abduction. The public information consists of the name and description of the abductee, description of the suspected abductor, and the abductor’s vehicle details if available.

Criteria for activation of Amber Alert –

By using Emergency Alert System, the alerts are broadcast. The criteria for issuing the alert are usually stuck. Each state or province has its criteria for activation of Amber Alert. There are differences between alerting agencies related to which incidence is justified for the alert. The US Department of Justice follows the following things –

  • There has to be confirmation by Law enforcement that an abduction has taken place. 
  • The child has to be at risk of death or injury.
  • There must be sufficient information about the child and the abductor.
  • The child has to be under 17 years of age.




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