AMBER Alert Best Practices

Program, Process and Operations: Tools for AMBER Alert Program Coordinators and Other Key Outcome Contributors

Outcome Contributors in a Child Abduction Event


Best Practices Reference Publications

AMBER Alert Best Practices Guide

Guidelines and important considerations for strengthening and continuously improving AMBER Alert Programs.

Law Enforcement Field Guide for Endangered Missing and Abducted Children: Investigative Response in Relation to the AMBER Alert Process

Provides high-level information on law enforcement's investigative response in relation to the AMBER Alert Process and discusses key areas for further training, preparation and scenario/skill-based assessment.

CART Program Implementation Guide

Guidelines and important considerations for developing, implementing and sustaining a CART program.

CART Certification Manual and Agency Guide

Process, capacity and capability standards as established by the US Department of Justice for CART programs pursuing formal certification by the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program.

Research, Rulings and Findings

NISMART Research

Research summaries, bulletins and other important publications from OJJDP's  NISMART initiative.

OJP and Washington State Attorney General Child Abduction Homicide Study

Information from the Washington State Attorney General's Office on the Child Abduction Homicide Study.

Rules of Professional Conduct for Alerts and Updates to the Public

As referenced by the American Bar Association (ABA), Rules of Professional Conduct When Releasing Alert and Update Information to the Public.

The 2003 PROTECT Act

The 2003 PROTECT Act.  In addition to downloading the Act, you may learn more by visiting Congress.gov at https://www.congress.gov/bill/108th-congress/senate-bill/151. 

Process Resources

AMBER Alert: Sample Process Map

This simple graphic provides an example of a process map depicting key roles, decision points and action to create effective programmatic motion when a child is reported critically missing or abducted.

Comprehensive Child Recovery Strategy Components

This simple graphic shows the three pillars of a comprehensive child recovery strategy and the important programmatic and operational considerations for each.

Outcome Contributors Ecosystem During a Child Abduction Event

This simple graphic shows the relationship of numerous stakeholders, or outcome contributors, during an endangered missing or abducted child event.

Telecommunications First Responders

Telecommunications Best Practices for Missing and Abducted Children (TELMAC) Training Course

Learn telecommunications best practices for supporting swift and decisive responses in the critical, early stages of incidents involving missing and abducted children.

This self-directed course is available 24/7 and allows you to work at your own pace as your busy schedule allows. The course is delivered across five modules which cover the nature of the problem, an overview of the APCO ANS1.101 standard and its call intake protocols, a detailed look at NCIC entry and update mechanics for missing child incidents, and important resources available for the communications center and the law enforcement agencies it serves in responding effectively to incidents of endangered, missing and abducted children.

  • ONLINE TRAINING: To register for the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) Online Criminal Justice Community, which gives you instant access to the TELMAC online training and more than 40 other online courses and webinars, click the 'Register for Online Training' button.
  • CLASSROOM TRAINING: If an agency wishes to host an onsite delivery of this training (1 day/8 hours), and can provide the training facility and assist in bringing 50+ participants to the event, a request can be made using the 'Request Onsite TELMAC Training' button.

 

APCO ANS 1.101: Standard for Public Safety Telecommunicators When Responding to Calls of Missing, Abducted and Sexually Exploited Children

Best practices, model policy and call intake protocols for 911/Emergency Dispatch personnel and patrol first responders when responding to missing and abducted child incidents.

Effective Use of NCIC: the National Crime Information Center Database - A Quick Reference Guide for Law Enforcement Telecommunications

A Reference Guide for Public Safety Telecommunications Personnel in swift yet comprehensive and accurate use of the NCIC system to build, update and manage records in missing and abducted child cases.

Model Policy - Addendum for Missing Children with Special Needs

An addition to the model policy published by NCMEC for law enforcement response to missing child incidents, focusing on important considerations for missing children with special needs.

Patrol and Investigative Response

Field Response for Endangered Missing and Abducted Children: Law Enforcement Investigative Response in Relation to the AMBER Alert Process

Provides high-level information on law enforcement's investigative response in relation to the AMBER Alert Process and discusses key areas for further training, preparation and scenario/skill-based assessment.

Law Enforcement Field Response Checklists: Patrol, Investigative, Supervisory

Learn more about a series of law enforcement field response checklists for use in endangered missing and abducted child incidents. Download both full and condensed versions of checklists for patrol officers, investigators and supervisory officers.

Patrol First Response Checklist

A basic first response checklist for patrol officers when responding to the scene or family home of an endangered missing or abducted child.

Investigative Officer Response Checklist

A basic checklist for investigative officers when responding to the scene or family home of an endangered missing or abducted child.

Supervisory Officer Response Checklist

A basic checklist for supervising officers when responding to the scene or family home of an endangered missing or abducted child.

Patrol First Response for Missing and Abducted Children (PATMAC) Online Training

Learn law enforcement patrol/first responding officer best practices for supporting swift and decisive responses in the critical, early stages of incidents involving missing and abducted children.

This self-directed course is available 24/7 and allows you to work at your own pace as your busy schedule allows. The course is delivered across five modules which cover the nature of the problem, initial on-scene response, transitioning the investigation, and important resources available for your agency in responding effectively to incidents of endangered, missing and abducted children.

  • ONLINE TRAINING: To register for the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) Online Criminal Justice Community, which gives you instant access to the PATMAC online training and more than 40 other online courses and webinars, click the 'Register for Online Training' button.
  • CLASSROOM TRAINING: If an agency wishes to host an onsite delivery of this training (1 day/8 hours), and can provide the training facility and assist in bringing 50+ participants to the event, a request can be made using the 'Request Onsite PATMAC Training' button.

Sample Missing Child Data Form

A sample form providing examples of important information to be included in a Missing Child Data form. Nothing in this form should supersede or prohibit agency, department and/or jurisdictional policy, procedure or statutory requirements. CART programs are encouraged to develop their own forms with all required information, using this sample form as a starting point.

Sample Neighborhood Canvass Form

A sample form providing examples of important information to be included in a CART's Neighborhood Canvass form. Nothing in this form should supersede or prohibit agency, department and/or jurisdictional policy, procedure or statutory requirements. CART programs are encouraged to develop their own forms with all required information, using this sample form as a starting point.

Sample Roadblock Canvass Form

A sample form providing examples of important information to be included in a CART's Roadblock Canvass form. Nothing in this form should supersede or prohibit agency, department and/or jurisdictional policy, procedure or statutory requirements. CART programs are encouraged to develop their own forms with all required information, using this sample form as a starting point.

Sample Sex Offender Canvass Form

A sample form providing examples of important information to be included in a CART's Sex Offender Canvass form. Nothing in this form should supersede or prohibit agency, department and/or jurisdictional policy, procedure or statutory requirements. CART programs are encouraged to develop their own forms with all required information, using this sample form as a starting point.

Sample Subject Data Form

A sample form providing examples of important information to be included in a Subject Data form. Nothing in this form should supersede or prohibit agency, department and/or jurisdictional policy, procedure or statutory requirements. CART programs are encouraged to develop their own forms with all required information, using this sample form as a starting point.

Media: Broadcast, Web, Social

Twitter and Facebook: for Developers

For AMBER Alert program and Law Enforcement agency IT/website departments, resource sites for developing optimal messaging  and information management via Twitter and Facebook

Technology Information and Resources

IPAWS

Information on how alerting authorities interact with FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to feed data to EAS, WEA and other alerting systems.

EAS Contact Information by State

The Federal Communications Commission website provides contact information for each state's EAS Plan and State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) Chair. The AMBER Alert Coordinator should work proactively with the SECC to build relationships important to executing and strengthening AMBER alerting operations.

FCC Information on Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

The Federal Communications Commission website provides comprehensive information on Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and provides contact information for support.

State Transportation Department Contacts

The US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration website provides a complete list of links to each state's transportation departments. AMBER Alert Coordinators should establish key contacts with state DOT personnel to ensure continuity of MOUs/agreeements and any needed updates to planning as technologies evolve and roadway messaging infrastructure expands.

Fusion Center Locations and Contact Information

The US Department of Homeland Security website provides a complete list of links to each state's Fusion Center locations and contact information. Fusion centers are key outcome contributors in AMBER Alert Programs.

Virtual Command Center Tool - from the FBI's CJIS Division

The FBI's CJIS website provides a comprehensive overview of the Virtual Command Center resource - a real-time, web-based tool for securely monitoring critical incidents and other major events. The tool is accessed by official criminal justice personnel via the LEO.gov website.

Alerting and Messaging Resources

Report on Alerting Tactics - Science and Technology Directorate

From the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology, this Report on Alerting Tactics provides recommendations on effective combinations of alerting tactics for various incident types based upon lessons learned from practitioners. This report examines nationwide alert originator best practices for reaching communities; effective combinations of current and emerging alerting tools and practices to improve overall public response; and considerations for integrating future technologies (e.g. advanced sensor alerting) and technology platforms (e.g., Next Generation Television (Next Gen TV)) to address current alerting gaps and challenges.

AMBER Alert Partners Portal

AMBER Alert Partners Portal

The AMBER Advocate Website features a secure portal for AMBER Alert Partners:

  • AMBER Alert Program Coordinators
  • Missing Persons Clearinghouse Coordinators/Managers
  • Child Abduction Response Team (CART) Leaders

If you are officially serving in one of these roles and do not have an account on the Portal, visit the Portal's login page to request access.