What A Broadcaster Should Do During an AMBER Alert
To rapidly disseminate information about a suspect and victim to the public when a child has been abducted.
The AMBER Alert is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement and local broadcasters for generating emergency alerts to the public when a child has been abducted.
AMBER Alerts are initiated solely by Utah law enforcement agencies utilizing the “Utah AMBER Alert Information” form and by meeting the guidelines set forth on that form.
The criteria for an AMBER Alert:
Is this child 17 years of age or younger?
Is the victim believed to be facing imminent danger, serious bodily injury or death?
Is there information that could assist the public in the safe recovery of the victim or apprehension of a suspect?
Law enforcement agencies are not supposed to send an AMBER Alert if the answer is no to any of these questions. The alert is not to be used for cases involving custodial disputes or runaways that don't meet the criteria. Law enforcement agencies may issue an “Endangered Person Advisory” or use other means to reach the public in cases that don’t meet the requirements for an AMBER Alert.
If all criteria exist then broadcasters will be notified:
BCI will send the AMBER Alert to the media over the EAS System. Information, photos and the investigating agency’s contact numbers will also be posted at the following web sites: http://www.ubaamber.com, www.bci.utah.gov and http://commuterlink.utah.gov/ie.htm.
After receiving notification, broadcasters may do the following:
Radio and TV broadcasters have agreed to air the alert every 15 minutes for the first three hours after the alert is initiated.
Broadcasters may air the EAS audio message and a crawl or break into programming with their own on-air personnel. The crawl should run across the top of the screen so it won’t interfere with closed captioning.
Broadcasters may also decide to devote more time to the alerts than the 15 minute updates.
Before the three hours are up, broadcasters will be notified through UCJIS if the investigating agency would like additional alerts and the requested frequency for those alerts.
Canceling the AMBER Alert:
The investigating agency will cancel the AMBER Alert using the UCJIS UAA message. The AMBER Alert Cancellation will be sent via UCJIS to all registered printers, e-mail, pagers and cell phones. BCI will also send the AMBER Alert Cancellation to the media over the EAS System.