The Wyoming AMBER Alert plan was implemented on January 26, 2004. Within thirty-six hours of the plan being put into place, an Amber Alert was initiated at the request of Utah officials. Nearly fours hours later, the abducted child was located unharmed and the abductor arrested in Rawlins, Wyoming.
The Wyoming AMBER Plan is a cooperative effort between law-enforcement agencies, Wyoming Association of Broadcasters, Wyoming Department of Transportation and the National Weather Service to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. Broadcasters air a description of the abducted child and suspected abductor via radio and television and capable electronic highway signs display a description of abductor vehicle information. The goal of the AMBER Alert is to instantly inform the entire community so that citizens may assist in the search for the abducted child.
Once the criteria for an Amber Alert is met, concise information is put together for distribution to the public, via the local media. The information is further distributed through group fax and group e-mail and may include descriptions and pictures of the missing child, the suspected abductor, a suspected vehicle, direction of travel, etc. Under the plan, local law enforcement makes the determination that the missing child meets the criteria for an Amber Alert and faxes information to the Division for review. The information is then sent to the Cheyenne office of the National Weather Service for distribution via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and posted to those electronic highways signs capable of displaying relevant information.
How Does The AMBER Plan Work?
Each state or local program establishes its own AMBER Plan criteria; however, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children suggests the following criteria should be met before an Alert is activated:
Law enforcement confirms a child has been abducted.
A child is considered seventeen years old or younger.
Law enforcement will only activate an Amber Alert if it is believed the circumstances surrounding the abduction indicate that the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and/or suspect's vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help in the safe return of the child.
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 local law enforcement.
In the event that you spot a child, adult, or vehicle fitting the AMBER Alert description, immediately call the telephone number given in the AMBER Alert and provide authorities with as much information as you know.
The goal of Amber Alert is the safe return of the child.
If Your Child is Missing:
Immediately call or go to your local law enforcement agency (police or sheriff) and file a missing person report. When a child is missing there is no waiting period in Wyoming.
Bring the most recent color photograph of the child, along with the child's fingerprints, hair sample, blood type, and physical description including a description of the clothes the child was wearing.
Information about your missing child will be entered into the National Crime Information Center's Missing Person File.
Be alert to a teenager or adult who is paying an unusual amount of attention to your children or giving them inappropriate or expensive gifts. Contact other non-profit missing child organizations and state clearinghouses in adjacent states. Register your missing child and find out what other search assistance and support services they can provide.
Be sensitive to changes in your children's behavior; they are a signal that you should sit down and talk to your children about what caused the changes.
Teach your children to trust their own feelings and assure them that they have the right to say no to what they sense is wrong.
Child Safety Tips To Prevent Abductions:
Teach your children their full names, addresses and phone numbers.
Teach your children how to make a long distance call (both directly to you using the area code and by dialing "0" for the operator).
Know your neighbors and your child's friends, including their names, addresses and telephone numbers.
Know the routes your child takes to and from school, friends' homes and other activities.
Be involved in your child's activities by volunteering at school, clubs, and sporting events - participate in a neighborhood watch program.
Before leaving your child in the care of a day-care, pre-school, baby sitter, or youth organization, check their references and qualifications.
Ask if criminal background checks are conducted before new staff members are hired.
Write your police chief, sheriff and other elected officials, in support of the Amber Alert Plan, police missing person programs, and other child safety efforts; write the general managers of your local radio and TV stations in support of the Amber Alert Plan and the Emergency Alert System.
Review the web sites of Missing Child Organizations for volunteer opportunities, such as e-mailing or distributing posters of missing children. Teach your child what to do if approached by a stranger. Common uses are offering a ride, gifts or candy, asking the child to help them look for a lost dog or cat, or claiming that the child's parent has asked them to bring the child home because of an emergency.
Listen to your child; don't disregard their fears. Instead, let them know that you take their fears and concerns seriously.
If available, obtain a DNA Kit from your local police or sheriff's department. Keep current identification on each child (such as a recent photo, video, fingerprints, hair sample, blood type, identifying marks, and physical description) in a safe accessible place. Know how to obtain your child's dental x-rays and medical records.
AMBER Alert Report:
Wyoming Highway Patrol Annual AMBER Alert Activations Report for July 1st, 2020, through June 15th, 2021, click here.
Wyoming Highway Patrol
What you should know:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - Official site for current information on Missing and Exploited Children.