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AMBER Alert: Best Practices Guide for Broadcasters and Other Media Outlets

NCJ Number
208481
Date Published
Agencies
OJJDP
Annotation
This guide presents best practices for media outlets that broadcast AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) alerts.
Abstract
Since 74 percent of children who are kidnapped and murdered are killed within the first 3 hours of being taken, early involvement by media outlets is crucial. During missing child emergencies, the media becomes the conduit of information between law enforcement officials and the public. Following a brief history of the AMBER alert system, the guide underscores the need for partnerships among law enforcement, broadcasters, transportation departments, and State and Federal officials to make the AMBER system successful. Guidance is offered for the development of effective partnerships, including tips for creating memoranda’s of understanding and after-action reports. Other considerations for the effective use of the AMBER alert system include the need for consensus regarding the roles and responsibilities of all partners, the importance of verifying information to be broadcast, and the content and frequency of the message itself. In the end, the most crucial component of effective AMBER alert systems is open communication between broadcasters and law enforcement officials. Resources
Date Created: July 9, 2014