JOPLIN, Mo. — Today, January 13th, is AMBER Alert Awareness Day.

AMBER stands for “America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response,” as well as the first name of Amber Hagerman, a nine year old girl who was kidnapped and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996.

The system is used to enlist the public’s help in locating a missing child or children.
In order for area law enforcement to activate the system, certain criteria have to be met.

“It can’t be used for a juvenile that runs away or you know, a child custody situation where a parent may take another child and they may not be in danger. You can’t utilize it for those types of situations. Law enforcement can’t use it you know if there’s a bank robbery and we have a suspect vehicle and say it’s an AMBER Alert just to get information out, that’s not the intent. That’s not what we’re willing to do,” said Captain William Davis, Joplin Police Department.

Therefore, an alert is issued when there is reasonable belief that a child abduction has taken place, and that the victim faces a credible threat of serious injury or death.