Good Question

Feb 20, 2013 8:47 PM by John Reger

GQ: What are the criteria for sending out an Amber Alert?

Last week we brought you breaking news about a missing 12-year-old girl who was eventually found by her father after a massive search. There was no amber alert issued. On Facebook we got this question: Under what circumstances do police send out an amber alert for a missing child? Good Question.

The Amber Alert program teams up law enforcement, media and the wireless industry to instantly alert the public to a child abduction.

Here are the guidelines for sending out an alert: 1) The investigating law enforcement agency must confirm an actual abduction has taken place. 2) The victim is 17 years old or younger, or has a proven mental or physical disability. 3) The victim is in imminent danger of serious injury or death, common when the suspect is a stranger. 4) There has to be a solid description of the victim, and of the suspect plus a vehicle if one is involved.

These criteria prevent abuse of the system and weakening it's effectiveness. Be sure to send *your good question to me at The only bad question is the one you don't ask.