The KlaasKids Foundation has just completed a comparative analysis of 52 State and Regional Amber Alert plans. We provide a link to the official site, the jurisdictional law enforcement agency, the Amber Alert contact, activation criteria, activation plan, and scope of the Amber Alert. While there are numerous similarities between the plans, there are many differences as well. If you wish to know how your state stacks up against the rest simply click here to find out.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have AMBER Alert plans. The AMBER Alert system has also been adopted in the Canadian provinces and continues to expand into the Mexican Border States.
According to the most recent statistics, since 1996, 734 children have successfully been recovered through the issuance of Amber Alerts. Of course many of these children were victims of parental abduction. That occurs when a non-custodial parent takes his or her child(ren) without permission and does not return them to the custodial parent.
Unfortunately, few of the cases that truly require an Amber Alert ever receive one because the cases do not fulfill all of the required criteria. For instance the kidnappings of Polly, Elizabeth Smart, Danielle VanDam, Amber DuBois and Adam Walsh would not have qualified for Amber Alerts in most states because they were either not taken in front of witnesses, the abductor was unknown, or the make and model of the getaway vehicle was not known.
The criteria required for Amber Alert activation was created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as was the decision to use the Emergency Alert System as the primary technology for delivery and distribution.
The Amber Alert was created in response to the kidnapping and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bike near her home in Arlington, Texas on January 13, 1996.