In the event of a missing child, what do you do? Officials with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Department of Public Safety want to make sure you know how to get the word out.
The most widely known method to inform the public of a missing child is through Amber Alerts. Amber Alerts are a child abduction alert system.
It originated in the United States after a 9-year-old girl from Arlington Texas was abducted and murdered in 1996. Her name was Amber Hagerman.
Amber Alerts are distributed through radio broadcast, internet and satellite radio, television stations and cable TV. In recent years alerts now appear on smartphone devices.
Crucial information must be provided to launch an Amber Alert:
- Do you believe a child has been abducted?
- Is the abduction one in which the child is 17 years of age or younger?
- Did the abduction involve acts of violence?
- Do you believe the child to be in danger or serious bodily harm?
- Is there adequate descriptive information available to believe that its dissemination to the public could help locate the child, suspect or suspects vehicle?
“First and foremost it is used only for the worst case scenarios,” said spokesman for MBI and DPS Warren Strain. “If it doesn’t meet the criteria then we fall back on the endangered missing child category.”
You can access the form to file an Amber Alert HERE. All information filed must be authenticated by a supervisor or local law enforcement officer.