Amber Alert

What is an AMBER Alert?

AMBER Alerts alert the public about a child abduction where the child is believed to be in serious danger

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The AMBER Alert was born in 1996 when local media teamed up with local police to develop an early warning system to find abducted children following the abduction and brutal murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, of Arlington.

While the alert name is intended to honor its namesake, it is also an acronym for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.

The alerts are designed to inform the public of serious child abductions and generate leads to help police recover the missing child as soon as possible.

The following is required for AMBER Alerts to be issued, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

  • Is this child 17 years of age or younger, whose whereabouts are unknown, and whose disappearance law enforcement has determined to be unwilling which poses a credible threat to the child's safety and health; and if abducted by a parent or legal guardian, was the abduction in the course of attempted murder or murder?
    Is this child 13 years of age or younger, who was taken (willingly or unwillingly) without permission from the care and custody of a parent or legal guardian by:
    • Someone unrelated and more than three years older,
    • Another parent or legal guardian who attempted or committed murder at the time of the abduction?
  • Is this child in immediate danger of sexual assault, death or serious bodily injury?
  • Has a preliminary investigation verified the abduction and eliminated alternative explanations for the child's disappearance?
  • Is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public to help locate the child, a suspect, or the vehicle used in the abduction?


There are eight kinds of alerts that can be issued for missing or endangered people in Texas. They are listed below with links to a page with more information.

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