x
Breaking News
More () »

When Amber Alerts are issued, there's certain criteria

"I'm curious as to what is the criteria for Amber Alerts. I see stories of missing kids on the local news that we never receive Amber Alerts for, please explain."

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — At Local 24 News, it always is our goal to get the answers you need and want to know. When a viewer had a question about why some missing child cases receive an Amber Alert and others don't, reporter Brittani Moncrease did some digging.

Local 24 News would like to thank viewer Brenda Hampton for her question. She messaged us with the inquiry, "I'm curious as to what is the criteria for Amber Alerts. I see stories of missing kids on the local news that we never receive Amber Alerts for, please explain."

Brenda, we've got you. Here's why. When it comes to Amber Alerts in Tennessee, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation handles them. It's not just a simple push of a button. When local law enforcement wants to issue an Amber Alert, they contact TBI. There is a certain criteria they have to follow:

  1. The person must be 17-years-old or younger.
  2. The child is in imminent danger of bodily injury or death.
  3. You need a description of the child, abductor, and vehicle. 

Lastly, if another agency from a different state want to issue an Amber Alert in Tennessee, there must be a direct and identified connection to the state and the same information above must be given. 

There are other missing person alerts. The Silver Alert is for adults gone missing for reasons such as, but not limited to, mental health, physical ability, or environmental conditions. 

The TBI sends an Endangered Child Alert to certain regions for missing kids when there is a concern for safety.

The Endangered Alert, stemming from the Holly Bobo Act, is for missing adults ages 18 to 20. 

Then, there is the Missing Children List. That involves parental abduction, runaway, or 'at-risk' youth.  All children missing in Tennessee are not listed on the Missing Children list.  That's because those requests come from parents, guardians, law enforcement, and those who may benefit from more public attention.