AMBER is the acronym for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. This was created to honor 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnaped in 1996 while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas and then brutally murdered.
AMBER Alerts helps to recover children and serves as a deterrent to this type of crime.
The AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child.
Once law enforcement has been notified about an abducted child, they must contact Rhode Island State Police for review to determine if the case meets the AMBER Alert criteria.
Rhode Island AMBER Alert Criteria:
If these criteria are met, alert information must be put together for public distribution. This information can include descriptions and pictures of the missing child, the suspected abductor, a suspected vehicle and any other information available and valuable to identifying the child and suspect.
The AMBER Alert will be broadcast through IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System) which will route the AMBER Alert to the EAS (Emergency Alert System). Radio stations interrupt programming to announce the Alert, and television stations and cable systems run a "crawl" on the screen along with a picture of the child.
As part of the AMBER Alert programs secondary distribution protocol The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) will distribute the alert to cell phones through the Wireless Emergency Alert program (WEA) which is also known as the Commercial Mobile Alert System.
Anyone with a capable mobile device, will automatically receive alerts when you are in the geographic area where an alert has been issued.
In the event that you see someone fitting the description of the child, suspect or vehicle provided in the AMBER Alert broadcast, immediately call 911 or the telephone number provided during an AMBER Alert (401) 46-AMBER (401-462-6237) and provide authorities with as much information as possible.
Before you share an Alert on social media, please confirm the alert is still active and can do so by visiting the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).