Arkansas Amber Alert – Updates And Changes

On February 1st, 2018 the Arkansas State Police released a revised version of the Morgan Nick AMBER Alert. The revised version is now called the Arkansas AMBER Alert Plan.

The Arkansas AMBER Alert Plan is a statewide initiative between law enforcement, news media and the public, with the shared objectives of using a dependable information delivery system to help quickly locate abducted children and bring them home safely. The Arkansas State Police have made changes to the AMBER Alert protocol and plan to use social media and improved technology to help safely recover abducted children across the state.

There are many who believe that the AMBER Alert is used for all missing children. This is not the case. The AMBER Alert is a tool to be utilized when a child is abducted. We want to inform you – the media – of the criteria for issuing the AMBER Alert, so you can understand the reasons for issuing such an alert, as well as helping you provide better information to your audience. You are also many times, the first resource people lean on for information in these cases, and we want you make sure you understand when and why we make the decisions we do.

The Arkansas AMBER Alert Plan will only be activated if the situation meets the minimum criteria recommended by the Department of Justice. It will be used only for child abduction cases, and it will not be used for an incident involving a runaway or for most parental abduction cases, unless the circumstances are determined to be life-threatening to the child.  Below is a list of the minimum reporting criteria that must be met by a local law enforcement agency before an AMBER Alert will be issued:

Minimum Reporting Criteria:

– There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an actual ABDUCTION has occurred.
– Law enforcement believes that the child is in IMMINENT DANGER of serious bodily injury or death.
– There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER ALERT to assist in the recovery of the child.
– The abducted child is under 18 years of age.
– The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the CHILD ABDUCTION FLAG, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.

If the circumstances of the disappearance of a child do not meet the Arkansas AMBER Alert Plan criteria, a Missing/Endangered Child Media Advisory may be issued (taking the place of the Level II Alert).  The Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer will take the available information and forward that information to media outlets from the agency’s current media contact list, as well as social media outlets. The telephone number for the law enforcement agency making the request for a Missing/Endangered Child Media Advisory will be listed for the public to contact.  A Missing/Endangered Child Media Advisory may be upgraded at any time to an AMBER Alert if the facts of the case warrant.

***Please be aware that there are no more “levels” of AMBER Alerts. Only AMBER Alerts and Missing/Endangered Child Advisories.

***Also, please note – to sign up for automatic Arkansas AMBER Alert text and email notifications, visit our website. https://www.ark.org/asp/alerts/mnaa/index.php

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