​January 13: AMBER Alert Awareness Day

01/13/2019—The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recognizes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day on January 13, 2019, in remembrance of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who went missing in Texas and was found dead five days later in 1996. In 1996, the AMBER Alert program was developed in her memory to create a network to share information in the event of a child abduction. 

AMBER Alerts were enacted in Colorado in 2002. Since that time, 94 alerts have been activated in Colorado. 

Colorado follows the US Department of Justice criteria for the activation of the AMBER Alert system:

  1. The abducted child must be 17 years of age or younger;
  2. The abducted child must be in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death;
  3. There must be enough descriptive information available to believe a broadcast will assist or aid in the recovery;
  4. The activation must be requested by a local law enforcement agency or AMBER designee from another state.

“The AMBER Alert program is one of the most critical and challenging systems coordinated by the Bureau,” said CBI Director John Camper. “These are fluid situations involving an imminent threat to a child, coupled with a number of challenging community notification systems that must be activated by our analysts within minutes to ensure a successful launch.”

As of December 2018, 941 abducted children have been recovered because of the AMBER Alert Program across the nation. According to national statistics, 55 of those recoveries were specifically connected to a Wireless Emergency Alert (cell phones).