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An AMBER Alert—originally named after abducted child Amber Hagerman of Texas and later turned into a backronym for "America's Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response"—uses a variety of broadcast methods to engage the public in the urgent search for a child who has been abducted and whose life is in danger.
When the Sûreté du Québec issues an AMBER Alert, all partners are asked to collaborate for at least two hours. Police deem this initial period to be the most critical in bringing about a happy resolution to a crisis situation.
Launched in Québec in 2003, the AMBER Alert was created in the United States in 1996 following a tragic kidnapping that took place in Arlington, Texas.
Although a witness had provided police with a description of the man who had abducted nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, along with a description of the suspect's vehicle, the girl was found dead four days later.
On April 30, 2003, the U.S. Congress adopted the AMBER Alert Bill to ensure that use of the Alert would be standardized throughout the United States.
Since the AMBER Alert was introduced in Québec, every case has had positive results.
When an AMBER Alert is issued, all partners are asked to collaborate for at least two hours. This is the purpose of the AMBER Alert, which is triggered in the most serious and time-critical cases of abduction of children under the age of 18.
The AMBER Alert was implemented in Québec through the collaboration of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), the RCMP and the Sûreté du Québec. Besides this partnership between law enforcement agencies, other partners collaborate when an AMBER Alert is issued:
An AMBER alert is activated when a situation involving a police force having jurisdiction in Québec meets the following three criteria simultaneously, without exception:
During an AMBER Alert, if you have any information that could help police locate the missing child, or if you have seen the child, the suspect or the vehicle used by the suspect (as described in the AMBER Alert broadcast), immediately call 911, 310-4141, *4141, 1-800-659-GANG (4264) or your local police department.
La Sûreté du Québec, corps de police national, agit sous l'autorité du ministre de la Sécurité publique et a compétence pour prévenir et réprimer les infractions aux lois sur l'ensemble du territoire du Québec.