American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

and broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS; formerly called the Emergency Broadcast System) to air a description of the missing child and suspected abductor. This is the same concept used during severe weather emergencies. The goal of the AMBER Alert is to promptly involve communities to assist in the search for and safe return of abducted children.

The AMBER Plan was created in 1996 as a legacy to nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and brutally murdered while riding a bicycle in Arlington, Texas. Outraged residents contacted radio stations in the Dallas area to suggest they broadcast special alerts to help prevent similar incidents in the future. In response to the community's concern for the safety of local children, the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law-enforcement agencies in northern Texas and developed this innovative early-warning system to help find abducted children.

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