A parent's worst nightmare is a child abduction. In some cases, it's a frantic search and finding their baby gone. In others, the horrible spectacle of seeing their child being driven away by a stranger.
The AMBER Alert is part of the nationwide AMBER Plan, a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies and broadcasters. The plan utilizes the Emergency Alert System and other means to notify the public about a missing child and a suspected abductor.
The State's AMBER Alert is modeled after the nationwide AMBER Plan, which was developed in 1996 after nine-year old Amber Hagerman was abducted and brutally murdered near her home in Arlington, Texas. Amber's death had such an impact on her community that it prompted law enforcement agencies and the Texas Association of Radio Managers to develop an emergency alert plan to help recover abducted children. Communities throughout the country have since adopted similar plans, with the common goal of returning abducted children to safety by employing the media to enlist the public in immediate search efforts. Texas organized a system that encouraged law enforcement agencies to alert the media following a confirmed child abduction.
California introduced the AMBER Alert concept in 1999 as a regional program. In 2002, Assembly Bill 415 (Government Code section 8594) mandated that AMBER Alert plans be implemented statewide and include specific notification protocols for all communities.
California Highway Patrol 1-800-TELL-CHP (1-800-835-5247) www.chp.ca.gov
California Department of Justicewww.ag.ca.gov
Missing and Unidentified Persons Unitwww.ag.ca.gov/missing Missing Children Hotline1-800-222-FIND (1-800-222-3463)
Office of Victim Services(877) 433-9069 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)www.missingkids.com