AMBER Plan Frequently Asked Questions

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How does the process work?
The investigating local law enforcement agency contacts the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse. The child abduction information is taken over the phone. It is decided by the local law enforcement agency and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement what information is to be broadcasted and the areas in which to broadcast. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement then ensures that the child abduction information is broadcasted.
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What is the public's role in the plan?
The public can play an important role in the recovery of a child, as they can be the eyes and ears in a child abduction. If a listener sees the child, abductor and/or vehicle in question, the listener should contact their local law enforcement agency or 911 with the information to include location, street address or highway, clothing description, physical characteristics, any observable behaviors on the part of the abductor or child and the time caller witnessed sighting.
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How can I find out more about the Florida AMBER Plan?
Please visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's website at http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/amberplan or call the Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse at 1-888-356-4774.
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How do you activate the plan?
The investigating law enforcement agency contacts the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse and provides details of the abduction. If the AMBER Plan criteria are met, activation is initiated.
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How long has the plan been around?
Florida's AMBER Plan has been in effect since August 30, 2000. The Plan was developed in partnership with the Division of Emergency Management, the Florida Association of Broadcasters, Inc. and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
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What is the Florida AMBER Plan?
The Florida Amber Plan is an Alert that is issued through radio, television, highway Dynamic Message Signs, lottery machines, missingchildrenalert.com, and other resources that have been made available, when a child abduction occurs. The Plan is used to alert the public in a much broader scope than just the immediate area of the abduction.
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What area does the alert cover?
The alert is activated to cover the areas that the law enforcement agency requests. If an alert is sent on a regional basis, it will cover several counties that constitute that particular region. An alert can also be issued statewide.
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What is the role of the media?
Once the child abduction information is received through the Emergency Alert System and email or fax, radio and television stations have the option on whether or not to re-broadcast the information. Large audiences can be reached through the media, thereby enhancing everyone's efforts in safely recovering an abducted child.
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What are the criteria for activation?
There are five criteria that have to be met before an Amber alert can be issued: 1) The child must be under 18 years of age. 2) There must be a clear indication of an abduction. 3) The law enforcement agency's investigation must conclude that the child's life is in danger. 4) There must be a detailed description of the child and/or abductor/vehicle to broadcast to the public (a photo of the child should be provided as soon as possible when available). 5) The activation must be recommended by the local law enforcement agency of jurisdiction.
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When did Florida start using the highway signs and lottery machines?
The Florida Department of Transportation offered the use of Dynamic Message Signs in August 2002, to be used whenever a vehicle is involved in a child abduction. In November 2002, the Florida Department of Lottery offered the use of lottery machines as another mechanism of getting out critical information of a child abduction.
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How can I receive AMBER alerts?
You can receive Amber alerts by signing on to www.missingchildrenalert.com. You can receive them through email, cellular telephone messaging or text messaging.
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