What is an AMBER alert?

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AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and when this type of alert is implemented, it simply means that a child is missing or abducted in the US.  The AMBER alert is basically created to broadcast the details of the abducted child across the US in order to hasten the possible recovery efforts.  When the AMBER alert is issued for example, details of the abduction including the name of the child and location are broadcast in nationwide television and radio channels.  Details of the abduction are also sent out over the internet and through mobile phone alerts to concerned government agencies like the police department and the transportation sector.  All these are done with the hope of retrieving the abducted child or children quickly and safely.  In the crime of child abduction, records have shown that recovery efforts are more successful in the first several hours after the crime has occurred.

The idea of issuing an AMBER alert is said to have come from an original case of kidnapping in the state of Texas back in 1996.  At the time, a child named Amber Hagerman was abducted and later killed by her kidnapper.  This case eventually struck a chord among the US law enforcement agencies and eventually paved the way for the nationwide alert system which was named AMBER.  This alert system features coordination among various law enforcement agencies and other involved sectors across all 50 US states.  Each state have their own guidelines in issuing an AMBER alert but the basic requirements may include basic evidence that abduction has actually occurred and that the child in question is believed to be in great danger in terms of possible injury or even death.  Most states also require basic descriptive information about the abducted child, the location of the crime, and other available details in order to help law enforcement agencies possibly recover the child.

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