A.M.B.E.R. Alert System In Place For Tuscarawas County

The Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office along with our local law enforcement agencies, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and our local radio and television stations has implemented an alert system to help locate missing children.

Called the A.M.B.E.R. (America Missing Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert Plan, a special news bulletin will be issued by participating law enforcement agencies to media outlets when a child is missing. The alert is patterned after the successful A.M.B.E.R. Alert Plan in use in the Dallas, TX area since 1996, and named after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered by a stranger.

There are several criteria that must be met before an alert can be issued:

  • Law enforcement confirms that the child is under 18 years of age;
  • Law enforcement believes the abduction poses a credible threat of immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death to the child;
  • There is sufficient descriptive information about the child, the suspect, and/or the circumstances surrounding the abduction to believe that activation of the alert will help to locate the child; and
  • A law enforcement agency determines that the child is not a runaway and has not been abducted as a result of a family abduction, unless the investigation determines that the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death.

When a missing child case fits all the criteria, the information is given to our participating radio and television stations to broadcast every 15 minutes for up to two hours.

More than 2,000 children are reported missing every day in the United States, which averages 83 children per hour. This alert system will help assist our local law enforcement agencies in the event we are faced with a child abduction. Time is of the essence with these cases. This alert system can help save time in solving these cases and more importantly, save a child’s life.