Amber Plan for Mississippi

updated 3/13/15

WebsiteMississippi Amber Alert
Administrating AgencyMississippi Highway Patrol
ContactMajor Rusty Barnes
Mississippi Highway Patrol
601-987-1212 or 1530
Steps for ActivationThe missing person must be a child 17 years of age or younger, mentally challenged or physically helpless person and thought to be in imminent danger and/or criminal activity suspected to be associated in the disappearance.

Threat of imminent harm or death to the missing child or a mentally challenged or physically helpless person ii. Age of the child iii. Time of initial report v. time of disappearance iv. Witness information v. Possible domestic or parental dispute involving child vi. Other facts that indicate the child was abducted or is in danger of serious injury or death, i.e., witnessed kidnapping or witnessed abuse or violence toward the child

A police chief, sheriff or local law enforcement agency commanding officer must complete the Mississippi AMBER Alert System Initial Reporting Form, sign the document and electronically mail or fax the form to:

MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Telephone: (601) 987-1530
Fax: (601) 987-1480
Email: troopc@dps.ms.gov

A photograph of the child will be e-mailed along with the initial reporting form, or as soon thereafter as possible, or will be turned over to the law enforcement officer assigned to respond to the disappearance call.

Before activation of the Emergency Alert System, the Authorized Officer, or his designee, must consider the information contained within the initial report form to ensure that it meets ALL criteria set forth herein.

ELEMENTS OF THE DISSAPEARANCE CASE TO BE CONSIDERED ARE:

* Threat of imminent harm or death to the missing child or a mentally challenged or physically helpless person
* Age of the child
* Time of initial report v. time of disappearance
* Witness information
* Possible domestic or parental dispute involving child
* Other facts that indicate the child was abducted or is in danger of serious injury or death, i.e., witnessed kidnapping or witnessed abuse or violence toward the child
* Only the Authorized Officer, or his/her designee, may authorize activation of the AMBER Alert. The Authorized Officer, or his designee, will prepare the announcement and then contact the designated radio station to activate the alert.
* Following the initial alert, an AMBER Alert! will be broadcast every thirty (30) minutes, during the first two (2) hours and every sixty (60) minutes thereafter for the next three (3) hours or until such time that an “end of alert” message is received from the authorized law enforcement agency. Local and statewide broadcast stations will exercise their own independent discretion to repeat the broadcasts more frequently and determine the frequency in which the alert is re-broadcast following expiration of the above-mentioned five (5) hour period following the initial alert. If new information is received or an update of information becomes available the five hour alert sequence will reset and start over from the beginning. If no new information is received during the five hour alert period, the AMBER Alert will automatically expire and the end of the five hour period.

DISAPPEARANCES NOT MEETING EACH ACTIVATION CRITERIA

If the circumstances of a child’s disappearance do not meet the criteria to activate the statewide EAS, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety may offer an alternate form of mass notification.

A photograph and Mississippi AMBER Alert Initial Reporting Form may be e-mailed through a statewide network of law enforcement agencies, news media offices and other forms of public communication.

The e-mail will contain information taken from the Mississippi AMBER Alert System Initial Reporting Form submitted by the local police or sheriff’s department (i.e. name of missing child, physical and clothing descriptions, location last seen, time of disappearance, law enforcement agency requesting general e-mail notification, contact name and telephone number.)

Should further investigation into the disappearance produce evidence that may change the initial circumstances as reported to local law enforcement, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety may reconsider activating the EAS.

The e-mail alerting news media and law enforcement of a child’s disappearance which does not meet the criteria of an AMBER Alert EAS activation will include the following paragraph at the beginning of the e-mail:

“THE (NAME OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY) HAS REQUESTED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION BE PROVIDED TO THE MISSISSIPPI NEWS MEDIA AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES:

“At the present time, information being provided to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (name of law enforcement agency) does not meet the criteria to activate the EAS for an AMBER Alert.

“It is left to the discretion of each law enforcement agency and news department receiving this email as to whether the attached information, regarding the disappearance of this child, and/or the photograph of this child, will be released to the public.”
Criteria for ActivationThe following is the criteria that are used to make a determination regarding activation of the Mississippi Amber Alert System:

1. Is the abduction non-parental?
2. Is the abducted individual under the age of 18 or mentally or physically incapacitated?
3. Is there a threat of imminent danger to the child who has been abducted?
4. Is there complete and specific information that could lead to the safe recovery of the child and/or arrest of the suspect?

NOTE: Each case will be reviewed on its own merits and if there are extenuating circumstances these criteria may be amended or expanded depending on the merits presented.
Scope of Amber AlertStatewide
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