SAFE IN 60

Safe In 60: How Amber Alerts Work

Feb 8, 2021, 5:00 AM | Updated: 7:27 am

On average, each year, we see two to three Amber Alerts issued here in Utah. And since 2002, the Amber Alert has been credited with safely recovering over 90% of those children.

You might be surprised police receive hundreds of reports of missing children each year. Fortunately, parents or police usually find them quickly. Most have either wandered off, gone to a friend’s house, or are found in their own home, hiding or sleeping. Some older children are runaways.

To keep it effective, the Amber Alert was created to follow stringent criteria and cannot be issued unless the circumstances meet all four of the following:

  1. The child must be 17 years of age or younger.
  2. Law enforcement must believe the child has been abducted.
  3. They must be considered at risk of serious bodily injury or death.
  4. There has to be a description of either a suspect or vehicle involved in the abduction.

You can imagine that if these rules are not strictly followed, we would see several Amber Alerts daily just in Utah, rendering it useless.

Utah is one of the most successful states in the nation because of how well we follow the Amber Alert rules and because the community really steps up to help when one is issued.

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