Amber Alert for New York

updated 3/13/15

WebsiteNew York Amber Alert System
Administrating AgencyNew York State Police
ContactSenior Investigator Gary B. Kelly
New York State Police
NYSP Special Victims Unit (The NYS AMBER Alert Coordinator’s Office)
Steps for ActivationUpon receipt of an "AMBER Alert Submission Form" from a police agency and determining that the case meets activation criteria, NYSP COMSEC takes the following action:

1. Notifies all broadcasters in the activation area(s) via fax and/or e-mail (secondary notification systems.)

2. Notifies the following AMBER Alert Plan partners:

* Transportation authorities - Details are displayed on highway message signs.
* NYS Lottery - Details are displayed on in-store ticket terminals.
* NYS Thruway Authority - Details are disseminated to toll barriers and service areas.
* NYS Department of Motor Vehicles - Details are displayed on issuing office message boards.

3. Notifies the NYS DCJS Missing Persons Clearinghouse, NCMEC, all FBI offices in New York State and the New York State Intelligence Center.

4. Requests interstate activation in neighboring states and/or Canadian Provinces if warranted. If an activation area is adjacent to a border, the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Canadian Customs are also notified.

5. Transmits an AMBER Alert poster upon receipt of photographs or digital images of the victim, suspect and/or vehicle from the investigation agency. Posters are transmitted via fax and e-mail to all agencies in the activation area.

6. Places Alert details on the NYS Amber Website. NYS Amber partner websites are linked to this site. Also, at this time the DCJS Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse places information on the DCJS and NCMEC web sites.

7. Transmits an updated message to activated area(s) upon receipt of substantial new information. COMSEC will activate additional areas if information provided by the investigating agency indicates that it will be beneficial.

8. Transmits a cancellation message if the child is recovered within the eight hour activation period.

When a missing child or college student is deemed to be endangered, but the case does not meet AMBER Alert activation criteria, an alternative alert system is available.

Known as a Missing Child/Missing College Student Alert, information can be distributed electronically to every police agency in New York State, NYS Thruway travel plazas and toll barriers, broadcasters, Alert subscribers and others within minutes. Information is also placed on the NYS DCJS website. Unlike an AMBER Alert, station managers decide if and when to broadcast information.
Criteria for ActivationThe New York State AMBER Alert Plan can be activated when an investigating law enforcement agency has reasonable cause to believe that:

1. An abduction of a child (under the age of 18) has occurred, and
2. The child is believed to be in danger of serious bodily harm or death, either due to the actions of another or due to a proven mental or physical condition.

Even if formal activation criteria have been met, activation may be impractical if available information is not specific enough and/or an extended period of time passed since the disappearance.

For example, an AMBER Alert specifying involvement of a white van (without a license plate number) could actually hinder an investigation by causing the public to inundate police agencies with possible sightings.


1. "Reasonable Cause to Believe" means that from eyewitness accounts, OR by eliminating other possibilities, your investigation leads you to believe that a child has been abducted.
2. Familial abductions qualify only if a child is endangered by the actions of the abducting family member.
3. Whenever an AMBER Alert request does not meet activation criteria, requesting agencies are referred to other NYSP investigative resources and to the NYS DCJS Missing Persons Clearinghouse (MPC) for possible issuance of a Missing Child/College Student Alert.
Scope of Amber AlertStatewide
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