When a child is abducted, broadcasters work with law enforcement agencies to enlist help from the public.
The Amber Alert Program For Maine
The Maine Association of Broadcasters, in coordination with Maine's public safety community, launched the state's Amber Alert program in December 2002. The Amber Alert system is one element of the broader Emergency Alert System program, which is used primarily for weather-related situations.
The Maine Amber Alert Plan provides one more tool for law enforcement agencies in the effort to recover abducted children. There are very specific criteria that must be met before an Amber Alert may be triggered. IMPORTANT: In January 2008, the Maine Amber Alert Plan was revised to give law enforcement more flexibility in child-custody abductions when they believe the abducting parent intends to do imminent bodily harm to the child. The plan was further updated in 2010 to conform to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy's Model Missing Persons policy.
The need for the Amber Alert program and its structure are discussed in the Amber Alert Manual. This manual is helpful for getting a general understanding of the program, as well as updating staff, the public, and interested organizations. There is also an instructional Amber Alert video (in MP3 format) that can be sent to accredited law enforcement agencies on request. (Be sure to include your name and complete mailing address in your request.)
The Amber Alert program relies on coordination between broadcasters and law enforcement agencies. Each group is asked to sign an agreement form when they join the program. The law enforcement agreement form and the broadcaster's agreement form are both available. Signing an agreement enables law enforcement agencies to earn training credits from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.