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Amber Alerts

The purpose of the AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert program is to establish a notification system that provides immediate information to the public through issuing and coordinating alerts using various resources following a child abduction when specific activation criteria are met.

The goal of the AMBER Alert is to locate the abducted child and/or the suspect through efficient information dissemination and communication that results in safe and expedient recovery.


Arizona Amber Alert Criteria:

In accordance with Department of Justice guidelines and in agreement with AMBER Alert Partners, specific criteria are established. DPS will issue an AMBER Alert when all five of the following criteria have been met as listed below:

  1. A child under 18 has been abducted.
  2. Law enforcement has determined the child is not a runaway and a custody dispute is not the sole reason for requesting an activation. 
  3. The abduction poses a credible threat of imminent danger, serious bodily injury or death to the child. 
  4. There is enough description detail about the child, the abductor, and the abduction circumstances that an AMBER Alert activation will locate the child and/or suspect. 
  5. There is information available, if disseminated to the public, would facilitate safe recovery of the child and/or apprehension of the suspect. 


Arizona Resource Activation:
  1. Emergency Alert System (EAS): The Federal Communications Commission created a specific code for AMBER Alert EAS activations, that are capable of interrupting normal broadcasts.
  2. Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA): The Federal Communications Commission created a specific activation code for AMBER Alert WEA activations that will send alerts directly to a wireless phone or device. Previously, DPS requested these activations through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Now DPS has the option of activating WEA and/or requesting NCMEC to activate a WEA. 
  3. Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Vehicle Messaging System (VMS) Boards. 
  4. Child Abduction Response Team (CART), a multi-agency response task force including local, state and federal authorities. 
  5. All-Points Bulletin (APB): Broadcasts to law enforcement. 
  6. The DPS Alerts Website.
  7. The Arizona DPS Mobile Application (for Apple and Android) 
  8. Social media (Twitter and Facebook), Text and Email. 


Helpful Links:
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