Friday, October 17, 2008

Amber Alert Criteria

Guidelines for Issuing AMBER Alerts

Every successful AMBER plan contains clearly defined activation criteria. The following guidance is designed to achieve a uniform, interoperable network of plans across the country, and to minimize potentially deadly delays because of confusion among varying jurisdictions. The following are criteria recommendations:

Law Enforcement Confirms an Abduction
AMBER plans require law enforcement to confirm an abduction prior to issuing an alert. This is essential when determining the level of risk to the child. Clearly, stranger abductions are the most dangerous for children and thus are primary to the mission of an AMBER Alert....

Risk of Serious Bodily Injury or Death
Plans require a child be at risk for serious bodily harm or death before an alert can be issued. This element is clearly related to law enforcement’s recognition that stranger abductions represent the greatest danger to children....
Sufficient Descriptive Information
For an AMBER Alert to be effective in recovering a missing child, the law enforcement agency must have enough information to believe that an immediate broadcast to the public will enhance the efforts of law enforcement to locate the child and apprehend the suspect....

Age of Child
Every state adopt the “17 years of age or younger” standard; or....

NCIC Data Entry
Immediately enter AMBER Alert data into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system. Text information describing the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the child should be entered, and the case flagged as a Child Abduction....
READ MORE...
Guidlines for issuing Amber Alert


~MY 2 CENTS~

Parental abductions occur FAR more frequently than a stranger abduction.
Interesting Statistics ~NCMEC~
HOW can we as parents, who know firsthand how much of a struggle it is to get ANY media involvement, counselor intervention, or financial help due to a parental abduction, change the public perception? Even AMBER ALERT makes a parental abduction sound less than it is!
TWICE on the same page AMBER ALERT clearly states that a stranger abduction is more dangerous to a child than a parental abduction.
PLEASE explain THAT to CAYLEE ANTHONY and GIOVANNI GONZALEZ.

2 comments:

Delilah said...

Thanks for defining this, Mammabear. I have to agree with you that parental abductions can be just as dangerous to the child as strangers. Do you think maybe there should be a different kind of "alert" or that Amber Alerts should be changed to include parental abductions also. Of course, a lot of them meet the same criteria anyway.

mammabear said...

I actually understand the reasoning behind sifting through the reports of missing children, to choose which ones are in an immediate danger. If EVERY missing child were listed as Amber Alert, the public would become
'desensitized' and the entire alert system would be useless.

LE is faced with making the difficult decision as to whether or not a child is actually in immediate danger.
(something that's not always as clear in the case of parental abductions)

I don't think that in Baby Fenella's case, where previous violations and weapons have been indicated, that I would have made the same decision as the detective in charge, but then I'm not in his shoes.(WHEW!)
I do, however, find the following quote from Missing baby has police seeking Joshua Patton
rather contradictory.

[So far, investigators do not believe the child's safety is in danger.
"Up to this point, we have not received any information that would give us concern the child is in any immediate danger," Campbell said. "Our main goal is to locate her and bring her back to the state of Pennsylvania.
Even so, Campbell urged anyone locating Patton, Rowe-Robles and the child to use "extreme caution" because their state of mind is unknown.]

Perhaps Detective Campbell was acting on Amber Alert Guidelines?

Clearly, stranger abductions are the most dangerous for children and thus are primary to the mission of an AMBER Alert...

This element is clearly related to law enforcement’s recognition that stranger abductions represent the greatest danger to children....

Parental abductions are complex, and I don't think there's any 1 easy solution.
There have been Amber Alerts issued for children kidnapped by a parent in the past, so parentals are not entirely excluded.

Since programs such as Amber Alert helps to shape the publics views and awareness about child abductions, they shouldn't claim that parentals are not as dangerous to a child as non-parentals.
Sad to say, there have been cases where this line of thinking is far from the truth. NOBODY can honestly determine which parent will harm their child and which parent will not.
Reading statements such as
[stranger abductions represent the greatest danger to children]
could ultimately cost a child his or her life.