The AMBER Alert Program
The Ontario AMBER Alert is a warning system that quickly alerts the public of a suspected abduction of children who are in imminent danger.
About the Program
The Ontario AMBER Alert Program is a voluntary, co-operative plan between radio and television stations, the Ministry of Community and Correctional Services, Ministry of Transportation, Ontario law enforcement agencies and other partners.
Guidelines for an AMBER Alert
Before an AMBER Alert is activated, these guidelines must be met:
- The law enforcement agency believes a child under 18 years of age has been abducted; and
- The law enforcement agency believes the child is in danger; and
- There is enough descriptive information about one or more of the following the child, the abductor, and/or the vehicle, which is sufficient to allow the law enforcement agency to believe that an immediate broadcast alert will help in locating the child.
How the AMBER Alert Program works
The OPP facilitate the AMBER Alert program within the province, but the program is available to all police agencies in Ontario.
If a child is reported as being abducted and all the AMBER Alert guidelines are met, the investigating police service can submit an AMBER Alert request form to the OPP. The OPP will then activate an AMBER Alert of behalf of the investigating police agency using the information that was given.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has mandated the broadcasting industry to distribute emergency alert messages. Emergency alerts (which include AMBER Alerts) are distributed through the National Alert Aggregation & Dissemination System (NAAD system).
The NAAD system disseminates the alerts through cable and satellite companies, radio stations, over-the-air television stations, CBC and some video-on-demand services.
AMBER Alerts are also disseminated though social media as well as through SMS text messages.
How can the community assist?
If you see or hear an AMBER Alert, watch for the child, suspect, and/or vehicle described in the alert. If you have any information regarding an AMBER Alert, immediately report it to the police by calling 911, Crime Stoppers 1 800 222-8477, or your local police.
You can sign up for AMBER Alerts through SMS text messages by visiting http://www.wirelessamber.ca or text 26237(AMBER).
You can also follow AMBER Alert Ontario Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The community of Arlington, Texas got together to create the AMBER (America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response) program following the 1996 kidnapping and murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman. Citizens wanted to prevent future abductions and increase children’s safety in their community.