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AMBER Alert Process

A Law Enforcement Agency with an inquiry about an AMBER Alert can contact the NYSP Special Victims Unit through the State Police 24/7 Communications Section at 518-457-6811.

Upon receipt of an "AMBER Alert Submission Form" from a police agency and determining that the case meets activation criteria, NYSP COMSEC takes the following action:

  1. Notifies all broadcasters in the activation area(s) via fax and/or e-mail (secondary notification systems.)

  2. Notifies the following AMBER Alert Plan partners:

    • Transportation authorities - Details are displayed on highway message signs.
    • NYS Lottery - Details are displayed on in-store ticket terminals.
    • NYS Thruway Authority - Details are disseminated to toll barriers and service areas.
    • NYS Department of Motor Vehicles - Details are displayed on issuing office message boards.
  3. Notifies the NYS DCJS Missing Persons Clearinghouse, NCMEC, all FBI offices in New York State and the New York State Intelligence Center.

  4. Requests interstate activation in neighboring states and/or Canadian Provinces if warranted. If an activation area is adjacent to a border, the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Canadian Customs are also notified.

  5. Transmits an AMBER Alert poster upon receipt of photographs or digital images of the victim, suspect and/or vehicle from the investigation agency. Posters are transmitted via fax and e-mail to all agencies in the activation area.

  6. Places Alert details on the NYS Amber Website. NYS Amber partner websites are linked to this site. Also, at this time the DCJS Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse places information on the DCJS and NCMEC web sites.

  7. Transmits an updated message to activated area(s) upon receipt of substantial new information. COMSEC will activate additional areas if information provided by the investigating agency indicates that it will be beneficial.

  8. Transmits a cancellation message if the child is recovered within the eight hour activation period.

When a missing child or college student is deemed to be endangered, but the case does not meet AMBER Alert activation criteria, an alternative alert system is available.

Known as a Missing Child/Missing College Student Alert, information can be distributed electronically to every police agency in New York State, NYS Thruway travel plazas and toll barriers, broadcasters, Alert subscribers and others within minutes. Information is also placed on the NYS DCJS website. Unlike an AMBER Alert, station managers decide if and when to broadcast information.