Why was AMBER created?
The AMBER Plan was created in 1996 as a powerful legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, a bright little girl who was kidnapped and brutally murdered while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas. The news of Amber's murder shocked and outraged the entire community and mobilized residents to take action. Residents and concerned individuals contacted local radio stations in the Dallas area and suggested they broadcast special "alerts" over the airwaves so that they could help prevent such incidents in the future. In response to the community's concern for the safety of local children, the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law-enforcement agencies in northern Texas and developed this innovative early warning system to help find abducted children. Initially it was just radio stations that participated. In 1999, eight area television stations joined the plan and began sending out these urgent bulletins. Statistics show that, when abducted, a child's greatest enemy is time. It can mean the difference between life and death as recent experiences have shown.
Related Information: The History of Amber Alert in North Dakota.
How Does the AMBER Plan Work?
Each program establishes its own AMBER Plan criteria; however, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children suggests three criteria that should be met before an Alert is activated.
law enforcement confirms a child has been abducted
law enforcement believes the circumstances surrounding the abduction indicate that the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death
there is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and/or suspect's vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help
What Should You Do in Case of an AMBER Alert?
The AMBER Alert message encourages the public to look for the missing child or suspect. You become the ears and eyes of local law enforcement.
In the event that you spot a child, adult, or vehicle fitting the AMBER Alert description, immediately call the telephone number given in the AMBER Alert and provide authorities with as much information as you know.