Utah AMBER Alert and Endangered Missing Advisory
All active AMBER Alerts will show on the Utah AMBER Alert home page
Utah AMBER Alert
The AMBER Alert System began in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then brutally murdered. Other states and communities soon set up their own AMBER plans as the idea was adopted across the nation.
AMBER Alerts are issued for abducted children when the situation meets the AMBER Alert criteria. Some children wander away in a crowded grocery store, others might run off after a heated argument. When a child is missing, law enforcement can act swiftly to help recover the child, by developing search and rescue teams or by bringing dogs to the scene to track the scent for example. AMBER Alert is only one tool that law enforcement can use to find abducted children. AMBER Alerts should be reserved for those cases that meet the AMBER criteria. Overuse of AMBER Alert could result in the public becoming desensitized to Alerts when they are issued.
The AMBER Alert has been very effective. AMBER Alert programs have helped save the lives of over 800 children nationwide. Over 84 percent of those recoveries have occurred since October 2002 when President Bush called for the appointment of an AMBER Alert Coordinator at the first-ever White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children. AMBER Alerts serve as deterrents to those who would prey upon our children. AMBER Alert cases have shown that some perpetrators release the abducted child after hearing the AMBER Alert on the radio or seeing it on television.
Law Enforcement must believe all criteria has been met.
Utah’s criteria for an AMBER Alert:
- Law enforcement believes a child or children have been abducted
- The child or children are 17 years old or younger
- Law enforcement believes the victim(s) face imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death
- There is information that could assist the public in the safe recovery of the victim or apprehension of a suspect
Utah’s Endangered Missing Advisory
The Endangered Missing Advisory is a system to rapidly disseminate information about a missing and/or endangered person to law enforcement agencies and the media. The Endangered Missing Advisory is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement and local broadcasters for notifying the public about a missing and endangered person. The advisories are initiated solely by Utah law enforcement agencies.
The initiating agency must determine if the guideline for an Endangered Missing Advisory is met:
- Is the person missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances?
- Is the person believed to be in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, environment or weather conditions, in the company of a potentially dangerous person or some other factor that may put the person in peril?
- Is there information that could assist the public in the safe recovery of the missing person?
Do the circumstances fail to meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert? (If they do meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert, immediately follow the protocol to issue an AMBER Alert).
What Happens When an Endangered Missing Advisory is Activated?
- Law Enforcement enters information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
- All Utah law enforcement agencies are notified with a state wide “Attempt to Locate”/Endangered Missing entry.
- Broadcasters and media are notified by email.
Note: Freeway signs will not be activated for an Endangered Missing Advisory. The purpose for the advisory is for media notification.
Visit the web site for the U.S. Department of Justice for more information about the AMBER Alert.