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AMBER Alert: Best Practices Guide for Public Information Officers

NCJ Number
212703
Date Published
Annotation
This guide offers assistance to State, regional and local AMBER Alert programs to develop and improve their plans and promote consistency across all programs through their public information office.
Abstract
The goal that all AMBER Alert programs have in common is to create a national network of AMBER Alert plans that will work together for the safety of children. In offering a best practices guide for public information officers and coordinators, comprehensive information is provided on the role of the public information officer in an AMBER Alert, how to choose a public information officer, structuring the Incident Management System, organizing media briefings, ensuring the message has been received, controlling rumors, the deactivation phase and the role of the public information officer, and acknowledging the cooperation of AMBER Alert participants. AMBER Alert programs nationwide may differ in their policies relating to the person tasked to request activation of an Alert, the criteria that dictate when an Alert is to be activated, and the person who decides when an Alert is to be deactivated. However, the public information officer’s role to set the overall tone during an Alert and to control the flow of information based on legal restrictions and agency policies already in place should not vary. This guide presents the knowledge of coordinators and public information officers working on the frontline of the AMBER Alert programs and those identified best practices in the development and implementation of an effective AMBER Alert program.
Date Created: July 18, 2006