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AMBER Alerts are activated in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of a missing child.  These alerts are broadcast through radio, TV, road signs, cellphones, and other data-enabled devices. The AMBER Alert system is being used in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Indian country, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 27 other countries.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs has tasked the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children with managing the AMBER Alert Secondary Distribution Program. When law enforcement issues an AMBER Alert, NCMEC is notified and re-distributes the alert to the appropriate secondary distributors.

As of July 5 2021: 1,074 children have been recovered due to AMBER Alerts. 94 are due to WEA. 


How do I receive AMBER Alerts?

AMBER Alerts are broadcast through radio, television, road signs, and the network of secondary distributors, which include digital signage, hotel chains, internet service providers, apps, and other technology.  As of 2013, AMBER Alerts are also delivered to wireless phones through the Wireless Emergency Alerts program (WEA).

Most people will see AMBER Alerts directly from primary distribution and secondary distributors and do not require any additional steps. You may also choose to be notified of an AMBER Alert in the following ways:

On Facebook: Visit and “Like” the page to receive AMBER Alerts in your newsfeed. Facebook also automatically notifies users near the location of an AMBER Alert.

On Twitter: Follow @AMBERAlert to receive rapid AMBER Alert notifications on your Twitter feed and share the alert with your followers.

International AMBER Alert Programs

Countries around the world followed the success of AMBER Alerts in the U.S. and created similar alert systems. Each country adapted the system to fit its own needs and requirements but the goal remains the same — use the eyes and ears of the public to help law enforcement recover a child who is in immediate danger.

Below is a list of countries with an alert program in place. This is not an exhaustive list and other countries may have similar programs.

Location Area Implemented Name
Australia Queensland Territory and New South Wales 2003 Child Abduction Alert
Belgium National 2011 Child Alert
Canada Each province has a program 2002 and 2003 AMBER Alert
Cyprus National 2015 Child Abduction Alert
Czech Republic National 2009 Dítě v ohrožení
El Salvador National 2013 Alerta Angel Desaparecido
France National 2006 Alert Enlèvement
Greece National 2007 AMBER Alert
Guatemala National 2010 Alba-Kenneth Alert
Ireland National 2012 Irish Child Rescue Alert
Italy National 2011 Italian Child Abduction Alert System
Jamaica National 2009 Ananda Alert
Malaysia National 2007 Nurin Alert
Mexico National 2011 Alerta AMBER Mexico
Netherlands National 2008 AMBER Alert
Poland National 2013 Child Alert
Portugal National 2009 Alerta de rapto de menores
Romania National 2011 Alertă Răpire Copil
South Korea National 2011 AMBER Alert
Spain National 2012 Alerta Menor Desaparecido
Switzerland National 2010 Alert Enlèvement
UK National 2006 Child Rescue Alert


These are among the children who have appeared in AMBER Alerts, but remain missing. 
Can you help?

State Contact
Alabama Alabama State Bureau of Investigations
Alaska Lt. Paul Fussey
Fairbanks Dispatch Center
Arizona Trooper Chrystal Moore
Arizona Department of Public Safety
Arkansas Captain Stacie Rhoads
Arkansas State Police
California Captain Rick Campbell
California Highway Patrol
1-800-TELL-CHP (1-800-835-5247)
Colorado Audrey Simkins and Gretchen Gebhardt
Colorado Bureau of Investigation
Connecticut Lt. Michael Pendleton, Sgt. Ralph Soda
Connecticut State Police
Delaware Sgt. Richard Bratz
Delaware State Police Communications
District of Columbia Lt. Andrew Dawidowicz
Metropolitan Police Department
Florida Chad Brown
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Missing Children Information Clearinghouse
Georgia ASAC Christopher McKeown
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Hawaii Missing Child Center-Hawaii
Department of the Attorney General
Idaho Tanea Parmenter
Idaho State Police
Illinois Craig Burge
Illinois State Police

First Sgt. Jen Holt
Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center

Iowa Lt. Tom Lampe
Iowa State Patrol Communications
Kansas William Smith
Kansas Bureau of Investigation
1-800-KS CRIME
Kentucky Lt. Kenneth Sandusky
Kentucky State Police
Louisiana Sgt. Michelle King
Louisiana Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children
225-925-6536 or 6636
Maine Lt. Scott Gosselin
Maine State Police
Maryland Sgt. Debbie Flory
Maryland State Police
Massachusetts Major Scott Range
Massachusetts State Police
Michigan Lt. Ron Gromak
Michigan State Police
Minnesota Janelle Twardowski
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Mississippi Captain Wayne Wasson
Mississippi Highway Patrol
601-987-1212 or 1530
Missouri Captain Corey Schoenberg
Missouri State Highway Patrol, Troop F
Montana Jennifer Viets, CJIN Program Manager
Montana Department of Justice
Nebraska Lt. Tim Arnold
Nebraska State Patrol
Nevada Nevada Highway Patrol
New Hampshire Sgt. Kelly Healy
New Hampshire State Police
New Jersey DSG Erin Micciulla
New Jersey State Police
Missing Persons Unit
New Mexico Regina Chacon
New Mexico State Police
New York Senior Investigator Henry Abeel
New York State Police
NYSP Special Victims Unit
(The NYS AMBER Alert Coordinator’s Office)
North Carolina Nona Best
North Carolina Center for Missing Persons
North Dakota Sgt. Wade Kadrmas
North Dakota State Police
Ohio S/Lt. Ron Raines
Department of Public Safety
Emergency Operations Center
Oklahoma Major Ronnie Hampton
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Communications Center
Oregon Sean Joyce
Oregon State Police Communications Center
Pennsylvania Cpl. Todd McCurdy
Pennsylvania State Police
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Police Department
Rhode Island Sgt. Simon Liu
Rhode Island State Police
South Carolina Alex Schelble
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED)
South Dakota Bonnie Feller Hagen
Division of Criminal Intelligence Analyst

Pierre State Radio
Tennessee Shelly Smitherman
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Texas Ben Patterson
Texas Department of Public Safety
(512) 424-2208
Utah Ofa Vaisima and Alex Martinez
Utah Department of Public Safety
Vermont Lt. Shawn Loan
Vermont State Police
Virginia First Sgt. James R. Goodrich, IV
Virginia State Police – Missing Children’s Clearinghouse
804-674 2026
U.S.Virgin Islands U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department 
Washington Carri Gordon
Washington State Patrol
West Virginia Sgt. James Kozik
West Virginia State Police
Wisconsin Melissa Marchant
Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children
Wyoming Crystal McGuire
Wyoming Highway Patrol

What happens when an AMBER Alert is received?

o   AMBER Alert broadcasts have a unique audible signal and vibration. It is intended to indicate the urgency of the message and make the alert accessible to people with hearing or vision-related disabilities. The message will contain a limited number of characters and provide basic information.

o   In the case of an AMBER Alert, the message would indicate that an AMBER Alert has been issued for your area and, relevant information about the missing child, and if possible, the abductor and/or vehicle used in the abduction.


How do AMBER Alerts work?

o   Once law enforcement has been notified about an abducted child, they will decide whether or not to issue an AMBER Alert based on their AMBER Alert program's criteria. They will provide the geographic area where the alert should be issued as well as any available information about the child, abductor, or suspected vehicle used in the abduction.

o   Once issued, the alerts are distributed by broadcasters and transportation agencies. They are also sent to NCMEC which redistribute the alerts to a network of secondary distributors that includes internet service providers, digital billboards, truckers, and others.


How are AMBER Alerts distributed to cell phones?

o   AMBER Alerts are distributed to cell phones as part of the AMBER Alert program's secondary distribution through the Wireless Emergency Alert program (WEA).


What is the Wireless Emergency Alert program?

o   The Wireless Emergency Alert program is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It distributes notifications from authorized federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies that alert customers with capable devices of imminent threats to safety or an emergency situation. The messages are intended as a supplement to the existing Emergency Alert System, which broadcasts alerts over radio and television.

o   In addition to AMBER Alerts, the program includes National Weather Service, Presidential, and imminent threat alerts. If you own a capable mobile device, you will automatically receive these alerts when you are in the geographic area where an alert has been issued.

o   Because the alerts are sent on a special wireless carrier channel called Cell Broadcast they are not affected by congestion on the voice or SMS text channels. The alerts are transmitted simultaneously to all mobile devices within range of the cellular carrier towers in the affected area. The system does not need to know your mobile number and it does not track your whereabouts; it simply broadcasts the alert, and any mobile devices that can "hear" the alert will display it to the user.


Will wireless customers be charged for Wireless Emergency Alert messages?

o   No. Wireless customers will not be charged for the receipt of these messages.


How do I know if my device is Wireless Emergency Alert capable?

o   To determine if your mobile device is capable of receiving the alerts, visit and look for a link for your wireless service provider where you will find a list of mobile devices that will receive the alerts on their network. Also, be sure to ask for a capable device the next time you acquire a new mobile device.

o   Look for this symbol on the box


Is it possible to adjust the volume of the Wireless Emergency Alert audible signal?

o   If a wireless device is set to vibrate only, users will not hear the audible signal from a Wireless Emergency Alert message. For additional information about adjusting the volume of a specific device or opting out of receiving the alerts, wireless customers should contact their individual wireless service providers.


Where can I go to receive more information if I receive an AMBER Alert on my cell phone?

o   If you are notified through a Wireless Emergency Alert message that there is an AMBER Alert in your area, you can consult local media or visit or for more detail about the AMBER Alert.