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AMBER Alert Best Practices Guide, Second Edition

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2019
68 pages
The purpose of this guide is to increase awareness, understanding, and promotion of the AMBER Alert system, whose goal is to galvanize communities to assist in the search for and safe recovery of an abducted child, with attention to the most serious child-abduction cases.
The specific purposes of this guide are 1) to raise awareness of roles, actions, and outcomes central to the coordination of an AMBER Alert program; 2) to support the ability of a community to create a meaningful and effective environment to facilitate recovery of missing children through the use of AMBER Alerts; and 3) to promote good stewardship of the AMBER Alert program and plan for which AMBER Alert Coordinators are responsible for a program's administration. Part One focuses on the AMBER Alert response system and those who are the keys to a successful response. Part Two of the Guide addresses the "life cycle" of an AMBER Alert, which describes elements of the various aspects of a comprehensive AMBER Alert. Among the 24 elements described are the 911 call and telecommunications first response, the law enforcement response, contacting the AMBER Alert Coordinator, approving or denying an AMBER Alert, the alert content, and core information elements. Part Three of the Guide pertains to building relationships among participants in an AMBER Alert response, which is essential to increasing chances of a successful outcome. Part Four discusses the critical importance of stakeholder training and public education/awareness in increasing the likelihood of a successful AMBER Alert. The concluding statement of the guide indicates it is "a starting point for a continuum of learning, growth, preparation, and continuous improvement in an agency's or organization's work as a key partner in the fight to protect children from becoming endangered, missing, or abducted."

Date Published: April 1, 2019