LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The AMBER Alert system in Michigan is changing New Year’s Day.
The Michigan State Police are changing what qualifies to send out an AMBER Alert, the emergency response system that disseminates information about a missing child.
As of January 1, 2017 AMBER Alerts will only be issued for child abduction cases involving victims younger than 18.
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.
All AMBER Alerts will still be sent out over the Wireless Emergency Alert and will trigger the Emergency Alert System over broadcast systems.
“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.
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 Emergency Missing Advisory is a notice that will be sent to broadcast and print outlets in the geographic area of the incident but will not automatically be broadcast.
AMBER Alerts have helped police safely find 262 missing Michigan children.