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Updated AMBER Alert Best Practices Guide

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2019
1 page
This article summarizes and provides online access to the updated (second edition) full report of the "AMBER Alert Program Best Practices" resource guide, which promotes the policies and practices that have been effective in recovering abducted children, based on the input of those who are AMBER Alert staff or are part of a larger missing persons and child-protection program at state and regional levels.
The guide describes policies and practices that have proven to be efficient and effective in galvanizing widespread assistance in the search for and safe recovery of an abducted child. The guide recommends the activation of AMBER Alerts in the most serious child abduction cases through radio, TV, road signs, cell phones, and other data-enabled devices accessed by people in areas that may be traveled by the child's abductor. After describing the "ecosystem" of a response to a child abduction, the features of the "life cycle" of an AMBER Alert are described. This encompasses the 911 call and telecommunications first response, the law enforcement response, contacting the AMBER Alert Coordinator, approving or denying an AMBER Alert, Alert content, core information elements, leveraging all media, leads/tips reporting information, and Alert activation. The activation process, message composition and distribution, and the details of other actions that facilitate an effective AMBER Alert are described. Other major sections of the guide address the building of relationships that facilitate an effective response to child abductions, and the maintenance and readiness of proven policies and practices.