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What is AMBER Alert?

The AMBER Plan is a voluntary, cooperative program between the law enforcement community and the broadcast media to send an emergency alert, called “AMBER Alert,” to the public when a child has been abducted and it is believed that the child’s life is in danger.  Once notified of an authenticated abduction, the Raritan Township Police Department, through cooperation with the New Jersey State Police, contacts the broadcast media, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as all listed AMBER Alert partners.  NOAA immediately interrupts radio and television programming to broadcast information about the abducted child, and/or the abductor, by activating a prearranged distinctive tone.  The media will rebroadcast the AMBER Alert as often as possible, per the guidelines established by the New Jersey Broadcasters’ Association, for the first three to six hours.  After the initial six hours, the alert will be rebroadcast at such intervals as the Raritan Township Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, and the participating media deem appropriate.


Who Are The AMBER Alert Partners?

  • New York State Police
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • New Jersey Broadcasters Association
  • National Oceanic Atmospheric Association
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • New Jersey Transit
  • New Jersey Highway Authority
  • New Jersey Turnpike Authority
  • Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission
  • United States Postal Service
  • United States Postal Inspection Service
  • United Parcel Service
  • Federal Express Corporation
  • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Delaware River Port Authority
  • Delaware River Bay Authority
  • Burlington County Bridge Commission
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • United States Customs Service
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • New Jersey Department of Transportation
  • New Jersey Lottery


When Is An AMBER Alert Issued?

While each state determines its own parameters for issuing an AMBER Alert, the Raritan Township Police Department follows the New Jersey State Police guidelines.  AMBER Alerts are intended for non-family cases of child abduction, where the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.  AMBER Alerts are not intended for all missing child incidents, runaways, or child custody situations.  For the AMBER Alert to be activated the following criteria must be met:


  • The child must be under the age of 18
  • The child must be in danger of serious bodily harm or death
  • Enough information to believe an AMBER Alert will help locate the child
  • A short enough delay to believe an AMBER Alert will help locate the child

Why Was the AMBER Alert Created?

The AMBER Plan was created in 1996 as a powerful legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, a bright little girl who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas and brutally murdered.  The tragedy shocked and outraged the entire community.  Residents contacted radio stations in the Dallas area and suggested they broadcast special "alerts" over the airwaves so that they could help prevent such incidents in the future.  In response to the community's concern for the safety of local children, the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law-enforcement agencies in northern Texas and developed this innovative early warning system to help find abducted children.  Statistics show that, when abducted, a child's greatest enemy is the passage of time.

What Should You Do in Case of an AMBER Alert?

The AMBER Alert message encourages the public to look for the missing child or suspect.  You become the ears and eyes of law enforcement.  In the event that you spot a child, adult, or vehicle fitting the AMBER Alert description, immediately call 9-1-1 and provide authorities with as much information as you know.

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