Understanding Amber Alerts

In our roundtable discussion today, we address the topic of Amber Alerts: what they are, why they are issued and what you can do to help.

alert WHAT are Amber Alerts:
– An Amber Alert is a notification system for law enforcement agencies to immediately alert the public when a “qualifying” child abduction is confirmed.
– What is considered ‘qualifying?’ A child under the age of 18.

Why are they issued?
– A child must be believed to be abducted and in serious danger. This determination is made by the local law enforcement agency and then communicated to the State Police.
– Time equates to distance so the immediacy of the Amber Alert is crucial for its success.
– The public is always concerned about the well-being of children so, “The purpose of an Amber Alert is to make the public the eyes and ears of law enforcement.”
– Important to note: “Indiana as a whole does not have a problem with stranger abductions,” Clark said. Almost always, abductions are committed by a non-custodial parent or relative.

alert2Finally, what can the public do:
– Exercise caution but do not panic. As of last week, there had been seven requests and only three activations {two in the last several days} in the past year.
– Consider it your civic duty and make sure you are opted-in for Amber Alert notifications.
– Share, share, share. Use your social media channels and hit ‘Share’ to spread the word.
• Sources used: Andre Clark, Program Director 1 with the State Police, Missing Children and Amber and Silver Alerts and IN.gov

To learn more, see the article in Indy’s Child at www.indyschild.com/understanding-amber-alerts.