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Murrow College of Communication at WSU

Amber Alert Explanation

SPOKANE – An Amber Alert triggered throughout Washington State and parts of Oregon and Idaho as a five-year-old boy needed to be found after being abducted by his father.

This begged the question: what is an Amber Alert?

The origin of the name comes from a young girl, Amber Hagerman,  who was taken in Arlington Texas and later murdered. Amber stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. 

When determining if a situation warrants an Amber Alert, authorities must confirm the child is missing, suspect they may be in physical danger, possess information that the general public could use to locate the child, and know that the child is 17-year-old or younger.

For cases not meeting those descriptions, Child Abduction Response Teams (CARTs) may be used to help local law enforcement find missing children.

Amber Alerts interrupt regular broadcasting in mediums such as television, radio, road signs, internet, and cell phones to bring a description of the child and information that may help them be found.

The Amber Alert worked with the recent case in Spokane as authorities were able to track down the child and return him to safety.



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Note: Murrow News is produced by students of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. Northwest Public Broadcasting proudly supports the work produced by these young journalists. 

If you have any issues/concerns please feel free to reach out to Instructor, Kanale Rhoden or Department Chair, Ben Shors.

©2019 Washington State University Board of Regents – Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. 

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