This fact sheet provides the critical steps involved in entering a child abduction, under the AMBER Alert plan, into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and strategies to improve the effective use of the NCIC.
The critical steps for entering a child abduction into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) are: (1) enter the information immediately, with no delay; (2) use the proper NCIC category, either endangered or involuntary; (3) if an AMBER Alert is issued, the AMBER Alert flag should be entered in the record; (4) add the image of the child to the record when available; and (5) update information about the victim and suspect on an ongoing basis. In addition to these crucial steps for ensuring that law enforcement disseminates vital information as quickly as possible for the recovery of a missing child; strategies are offered for changes in policies and practices to improve the quality of data on missing children in the NCIC system. These strategies included: (1) evaluate the quality of preliminary investigations in all missing children cases; (2) request reports of missing children entries from the FBI; (3) interview terminal control operators; (4) use the MIS field to provide detailed information that does not fit in one of the standard NCIC fields; (5) provide refresher training for both terminal operators and investigative personnel; (6) establish a system for issuing a formal auditing report on all missing juvenile records entered into NCIC; (7) modify policies, procedures, and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) to ensure that they reflect the best policies and practices and the most effective use of NCIC; and (8) educate local agency personnel. When a child is abducted, law enforcement must collect and disseminate accurate information about the event, the child, and the abductor. The National Child Search Assistance Act requires law enforcement to immediately enter into the NCIC data on every reported missing child case.
Date Published: April 1, 2005
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