History: The AMBER alert system was developed in Dallas-Fort Worth when broadcasters teamed up with local law enforcement to develop an early warning system to help locate abducted children.
AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The acronym was created as a legacy to a 9-year old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bike in Arlington, Texas, and then murdered.
Shortly thereafter, the AMBER alert program was put into place all over the nation.
AMBER Alert Process
Once Law Enforcement has been notified about an abducted child, they must first determine if the child meets the criteria for issuing an AMBER alert.
- The abducted must be 17 years of age or younger
- The abducted must be in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death
- There must be a sufficient description of the abducted to ensure the broadcast will assist in the recovery of the abducted.
- The issuing of the AMBER Alert program must be requested by a local law enforcement agency or AMBER Designee from another state.
If these criteria are met, Law Enforcement will notify the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. They will then gather information about the suspect, the child, the vehicle of the suspect, the direction that they are heading, and anything else they can gather. This information is sent out to all major television and radio networks through the EAS (Emergency Alert System). Also, the Colorado Department of Transportation will use their VMS (Variable Message Signs) on Colorado highways to display important information and advise you to tune to local media services for more information.
The AMBER Alert program does many things in order to help raise the awareness, and raise the likelihood of returning the abducted to their families. The program will not only put out the best description of the suspect as they can, but also will help gain the assistance of the public through television and radio.