How it Works

Amber Alert

For an AMBER Alert to be activated in New York State, a local law enforcement agency contacts the New York State Police Special Victims Unit to provide details on their case.

The NYSP SVU will review the case to make sure it meets the activation criteria.

When an AMBER Alert is activated, the Special Victims Unit takes the following action:

  • Notify all broadcasters in the activation area(s) by fax and/or e-mail
  • Notify State partners to help disseminate the information.
    • New York State transportation authorities display details on highway message signs.
    • The New York State Lottery adds details on in-store ticket terminals.
    • The New York State Thruway Authority displays details at service areas.
    • The Department of Motor Vehicles displays details on office message boards.
  • Notify the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Missing Persons Clearinghouse, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), FBI offices in New York State and the New York State Intelligence Center.
  • Request 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.
  • Add alert details on the AMBER Alert website.
  • Create and distribute posters to all agencies in the activation area if photographs and/or digital images are available.
  • Send updated messages to activation area or expand activation area if needed.
  • Send a cancellation message when deemed appropriate.


AMBER Alert capabilities are operational statewide, as defined by the map below, and a procedure is in place to share information with neighboring states and Canadian provinces.  When appropriate, a request for activation of their AMBER Alert systems will be made.


Amber Alert Activation Regions map


Other Activations

Alternative methods of media involvement may still be available for non-qualifying AMBER Alert cases.  The Division of Criminal Justice Services Missing Persons Clearinghouse has multiple alerts and non-alerts to assist law enforcement agencies.

For additional information about these New York State Alert Systems visit