LANSING, MICH. – Michigan is changing how Amber Alerts are issued starting in 2017.
Michigan State Police announced the changes Wednesday morning, with the following information:
Effective, January 1, 2017, AMBER Alerts will only be issued for cases of child abductions, involving victims under the age of 18, but all AMBER Alerts will receive a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). A vehicle license plate number is no longer required for a WEA.
Previously, in addition to abducted children, AMBER Alerts were authorized for missing children with severe mental or physical disabilities who wandered away and were unable to care for themselves.
Missing child cases that don’t meet the revised AMBER Alert criteria will be eligible for a new notification called an Endangered Missing Advisory, for which there is no age restriction.
The Endangered Missing Advisory is a notice sent to broadcast and print media in the geographic area of the incident, but unlike an AMBER Alert, this advisory does not utilize the Emergency Alert System to interrupt broadcasting and it will not be sent to mobile devices as a WEA.
“Any time a child goes missing, it’s an urgent situation and we should all pay attention; however, in the case of child abductions the urgency is even greater,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “By tightening the standards for issuing an AMBER Alert we will ensure these alerts are utilized in only the most dire of circumstances to get credible, useful information out to the public in order to bring abducted children home safely.”
Amber Alerts have helped police safely recover 262 missing Michigan children, according to MSP.