DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - A toddler disappeared from his mother's car in Harrison Township two weeks ago. He was found safe hours later and while deputies launched a full scale search, they did not issue an amber alert.
In light of Thursday's amber alert in Clark County, we wanted to find out why.
Ohio public safety officials and broadcasters have come up with specific criteria that need to be met before they will alert a broader area.
The abduction and murder of nine year old Amber Hagerman in 1996 inspired the creation of the Amber Alert system.
At that time, the description of her captor didn't go far or fast enough to save her, so a plan was developed to correct that.
In order to launch an Amber Alert:
- The victim must be under the age of 18
- Officers must be certain it was an abduction
- The victim must be in danger of serious harm or death
- There is enough information about the circumstance, suspect, vehicle and victim to help find the child
- It can not be a family dispute or custody issue unless the child is at risk of serious injury or death.
If all these criteria are met, officials will send out an urgent alert to law enforcement and to TV and radio stations.
Information will be posted on the Ohio Amber Alert website and on highway signs.
The Amber Alert Hotline will be activated to get tips to the right place quickly.
You can also set you cell phone to receive Amber Alerts automatically.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 58,200 are abducted by non family members every year.
It's important to note that if your child is missing, don't wait, contact police immediately, even if you don't meet these criteria.
Officers can still help.
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