Amber Plan for California

updated 3/12/15

WebsiteCalifornia Amber Alert
Administrating AgencyCalifornia Highway Patrol
ContactCaptain Jay Bart
California Highway Patrol
1-800-TELL-CHP (1-800-835-5247)
Steps for ActivationCalifornia AMBER Alerts are initiated solely by California law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies must follow strict activation criteria before an alert is activated. The agency's administration must give approval before initiating an AMBER Alert. The primary consideration in the development of the activation criteria was the identification of those abducted children who are at the greatest risk of serious bodily injury or death.

The California Highway Patrol will distribute AMBER Alerts to law enforcement, broadcasters, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Lottery, Ports of Entry, and members of the public who have registered to receive the alerts. Those alerts will be sent to computers, cell phones and text messaging devices.
* CHP will use the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to initially notify California broadcasters of the alert.
* CHP will also post the alert on its website
* CHP will send out flyers to law enforcement agencies and businesses throughout California and surrounding states.
* California Department of Transportation will distribute the alerts on Changeable Message Signs (CMS), and Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) transmitters.
* Media outlets will also post alerts on their websites.
* NCMEC will disseminate the alerts through secondary distributors, i.e. Internet providers, Facebook, trucking associations, airport security, Twitter, Nixle, etc.
* Numerous private businesses have agreed to put the alerts on their electronic signs.
Criteria for ActivationIn order for the California AMBER Alert Plan to be activated, law enforcement must be satisfied the following criteria have been met:

1. It has been confirmed that an abduction has occurred, or the child has been taken by anybody including, but not limited to, parents and/or guardians.
2. The victim is 17 years of age or younger, or of proven mental or physical disability.
3. There is reason to believe the victim is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
4. There is information available that, if disseminated to the general public, could assist in the safe recovery of the victim.

The AMBER Alert cannot be used for custodial disputes or runaway cases that don't meet the criteria. Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to issue an Endangered Missing Advisories for cases that don't meet the criteria.
Here are the steps a law enforcement agency must take once it has been determined that the criteria have been met:

1. If the agency is within a CARE county (Los Angeles, Orange, Alameda, or San Diego) contact the local Sheriff's Department
2. If the agency is not within a CARE county, contact the California Highway Patrol.
3. The agency should set up a phone "hotline" to handle tips and appoint a public information officer to handle the press.
4. The agency should obtain current photos of the victim and if possible the suspect.
Scope of Amber AlertStatewide


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