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What information is required for an Amber Alert to be issued?

Posted at 8:00 AM, Jan 01, 2019

COLORADO – News5 receives messages via social media, email and phone calls often asking that we share information about a teenager family considers as missing but police may consider a runaway.

We reached out to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to get an answer on what information authorities consider before issuing a missing/endangered alert or an Amber Alert.

An endangered missing alert is issued when the request doesn’t meet the criteria for any other type of alert.  Here’s what is sent out in order to spread the word:

A notification to the media and public containing information about a missing person, abductor and/or suspect, circumstances surrounding the case, mode of transportation and/or direction of travel, and any additional information pertaining to the investigation. Media Alerts / Missing/Endangered do not meet criteria established in statute or applicable rules for AMBER Alert, Missing Senior Citizen Alert, Developmental Disabilities Alert or Blue Alert.

There are four criteria–all of which must be met–before law enforcement can request CBI issue an Amber Alert:

1. An abducted child has to be under 18
2. An abducted child must be in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death
3. There must be enough descriptive information available to believe that a broadcast will assist or aid in the recovery
4. The activation must be requested by a local law enforcement agency or amber designee from another state

The public will be notified with information about the abductor, the child, mode of transportation, direction of travel and abduction details. The alert will go out electronically to broadcast media and through mobile phone carriers.

“The amber alert, obviously, is the most serious and we don’t send out too many of those just for that reason–so that when they come out, they’re taken very seriously,” says CBI Criminal Analyst Jillian Ganley.