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Rhode Island's early warning system to prevent child kidnappings

(401) 46-AMBER ((401) 462-6237) OR 9-1-1

The AMBER Plan

amber alert

The AMBER Plan is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies and broadcasters to activate an urgent bulletin in the child-abduction cases. Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS), formerly called the Emergency Broadcast System, to air a description of the missing child and suspected abductor. Once law enforcement has been notified about an abducted child, they must first determine if the case meets the AMBER Plan's criteria. Each program establishes its own AMBER Plan criteria; however, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children suggests three criteria that should be met before an Alert is activated:

  • Law enforcement confirms a child has been abducted.
  • Law enforcement believes the circumstances surrounding the abduction indicate that the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
  • There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and/or suspect vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help.

If these criteria are met, alert information must be put together for public distribution. This information can include descriptions and pictures of the missing child, the suspected abductor, a suspected vehicle, and any other information available and valuable to identifying the child and suspect.

  • The information is then faxed to radio stations designated as primary stations under the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
  • The primary stations send the same information to area radio and television stations and cable systems via the EAS, and it is immediately broadcast by participating stations to millions of radio listeners and television viewers.
  • Radio stations interrupt programming to announce the Alert, and television stations and cable systems run a "crawl" on the screen along with a picture of the child.

In Case of Alert

The AMBER Alert message encourages the public to look for the missing child or suspect. You become the ears and eyes of local law enforcement. In the event that you spot a child, adult, or vehicle fitting the AMBER Alert description, immediately call the telephone number provided in the AMBER Alert and provide authorities with as much information as you know. Your participation can make the difference between a happy ending and averting a potential tragedy.

46-AMBER (462-6237) OR 9-1-1

  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • The Polly Klaas Foundation
  • Beyond Missing

2014 AMBER Alert Awareness - Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

2013 Northeast Regional AMBER Alert Meeting

On January 30, 2013, the Northeast Regional AMBER Alert Meeting was held at Rhode Island State Police Headquarters. AMBER Alert coordinators from various Northeastern states meet on a yearly basis to discuss AMBER Alert plans and preparedness in the event of a multi-state AMBER Alert.

group of people posed for photo The following AMBER Alert Coordinators were in attendance:

  • Mr. Phil Keith, Program Director, AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance
  • Lieutenant Robert Wall, Rhode Island State Police
  • Ms. Joan Collins, Rhode Island State Police
  • Trooper Nicole Morrell, Massachusetts State Police
  • Sergeant Gary Kelly, New York State Police
  • Chief Steven Heider, Colonie, New York Police Department
  • Trooper Patrick Zirpoli, Pennsylvania State Police
  • Sergeant Louis Andrinopoulos, New Jersey State Police
  • Sergeant John Mullen, New Hampshire State Police
  • Sergeant Sara Hennessey, New Hampshire State Police
  • Lieutenant Brian McDonough, Maine State Police
  • Sergeant Paul Shavack, Delaware State Police
  • Lieutenant Paul Vance, Connecticut State Police
  • Sergeant James Thomas, Connecticut State Police