AMBER Alert Awareness Day—January 13, 2020

01/13/2020—The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recognizes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day on January 13, 2020, in remembrance of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who went missing in Texas and was found dead four days later in 1996.

Colorado’s AMBER Alert program was initiated in 2002. Since that time, 96 Alerts have been activated in Colorado.  As of January 2020, 977 abducted children have been recovered as a result of the AMBER Alert Program across the nation.

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.

Recent enhancements to cell phone alerts via the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system are now live. The updates, implemented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in late 2019, expand the number of characters available for the message from 90 to 360 and the ability to include URL links.

“It’s important to know that AMBER Alerts are not frequently issued and only activated in the most critical situations,” said CBI Director John Camper. “Our team at the CBI works tirelessly during these fluid and time-sensitive incidents to ensure the information being disseminated is the most accurate and complete as possible in order to expedite a child being located.”