LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(News release) – The Arkansas State Police released a revision of the Morgan Nick AMBER Alert on Friday. The revised version is now called the Arkansas AMBER Alert Plan.
The Arkansas AMBER Alert Plan is a statewide initiative between law enforcement, news media and the public, with the shared objectives of using a dependable information delivery system to help quickly locate abducted children and bring them home safely. The Arkansas State Police have made changes to the AMBER Alert protocol and plan to use social media and improved technology to help safely recover abducted children across the state.
There are many who believe that the AMBER Alert is used for all missing children. This is not the case. The AMBER Alert is a tool to be utilized when a child is abducted.
The Arkansas AMBER Alert Plan will only be activated if the situation meets the minimum criteria recommended by the Department of Justice. It will be used only for child abduction cases, and it will not be used for an incident involving a runaway or for most parental abduction cases, unless the circumstances are determined to be life-threatening to the child. Below is a list of the minimum reporting criteria that must be met by a local law enforcement agency before an AMBER Alert will be issued:
Minimum Reporting Criteria:
– There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an actual ABDUCTION has occurred.
– Law enforcement believes that the child is in IMMINENT DANGER of serious bodily injury or death.
– There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER ALERT to assist in the recovery of the child.
– The abducted child is under 18 years of age.
– The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the CHILD ABDUCTION FLAG, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
If the circumstances of the disappearance of a child do not meet the Arkansas AMBER Alert Plan criteria, a Missing/Endangered Child Media Advisory may be issued (taking the place of the Level II Alert). The Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer will take the available information and forward that information to media outlets from the agency’s current media contact list, as well as social media outlets. The telephone number for the law enforcement agency making the request for a Missing/Endangered Child Media Advisory will be listed for the public to contact. A Missing/Endangered Child Media Advisory may be upgraded at any time to an AMBER Alert if the facts of the case warrant.
Please be aware that there are no more “levels” of AMBER Alerts. Only AMBER Alerts and Missing/Endangered Child Advisories.
Also, please note – to sign up for automatic Arkansas AMBER Alert text and email notifications, visit our website.
Morgan Nick’s mother, Colleen Nick, said in a phone interview today that she is 100 percent in support of the name change.
“I think you know Morgan’s name being on it is a great honor, but I think it confuses the issue for people who might not understand that there is not a difference between the Morgan Nick Amber Alert and the Amber Alert,” Colleen Nick said. “And also I think some agencies think we have the authority to issue that alert because it has Morgan’s name. I am definitely in favor of this.”
In the interview Nick added: “I actually introduced the idea about a year and a half ago. That I thought the name was causing confusion. The state police were actually hesitant to make the change. But I think we all worked together and realized it was probably in the best interest of our state and the children who live here.”