There is a distinct and specific set of guidelines for Amber Alerts to be issued by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Colorado Springs Police Department Spokesperson, Barbara Miller reinforced the importance of sticking with the plan and criteria to make sure the value of the program isn't diminished.
The criteria includes that the age of the child is 17 and younger, law enforcement confirms that this is an abduction not a runaway, risk of serious bodily injury or death and sufficient information to describe the child who is at risk or in a potentially dangerous situation. Barbara Miller told me, "I think because we take these so seriously and we don't put them out for runaways or missing children, it just emphasizes how important this is to be on the lookout for these children."
Miller believes that law enforcement has to be specific with Amber Alerts or risk, "Crying wolf. You, the public is actively searching for a child and then to find out it's a runaway or habitual runaway. You are going to jeopardize the importance of the Amber Alert and you could have a child who dies as a result, because people aren't using the Amber Alert seriously."
So far, Amber Alerts have saved the lives of more than 500 children