May | June 2019

OJJDP Hosts National AMBER Alert Symposium

AMBER Alert logoAMBER Alert coordinators, Missing Person Clearinghouse managers, and Child Abduction Response Team members from across the United States, Mexico, and Canada gathered in Scottsdale, AZ, for the National AMBER Alert Symposium on April 16–18, 2019. Attendees participated in training sessions and shared best practices to improve the nation’s response to missing and exploited children. The Office of Justice Programs manages the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program with support from OJJDP; in fiscal year 2018, the Office awarded grants to the program totaling $3.4 million.

Matt M. Dummermuth, then-Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, offered opening remarks. “The AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program is our biggest contribution,” he said. “It provides a range of onsite and online training courses that have benefitted nearly 55,000 child protection professionals over the last 5 years.” In addition, Mr. Dummermuth announced OJJDP’s release of the second edition of AMBER Alert Best Practices. The guide is organized around the life cycle of an AMBER Alert and connects best practices to each decision point in the response.

Thumbnail of AMBER Alert Best Practices, Second EditionThe symposium also included remarks by Elizabeth Strange, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, as well as updates from leadership of the National AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Additional presentations focused on the implementation of the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act of 2018, AMBER Alert’s Southern Border Initiative, and case studies of cross-border child abduction and international parental child abduction.

The AMBER Alert system is being used in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas within Indian country, and internationally in 27 countries. As of April 1, 2019, a total of 957 abducted children had been safely recovered through the AMBER Alert system.


To learn more about the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program, visit the program’s website.