Don’t Freak Out! AMBER Alert Test on Friday Morning
Tomorrow morning, January 13th, at around 10am, there will be a statewide test of the AMBER Alert system for the state of Montana. Test messages will be broadcast on radio and TV stations, cell phones, the National Weather Service's Emergency Alert System, NOAA WeatherRadio, and any other device that receives and displays AMBER Alerts or EAS Alerts.
This is again, just a test, and you don't have to do anything in response. If you choose, you can report whether or not you received the message to dojmt.gov/ambertest.
These are the requirements to initiate an AMBER Alert, taken from the MT Department of Justice web site for the AMBER Alert Program.
- The missing child is a minor or has a confirmed physical or mental disability.
- Law enforcement has a credible reason to believe the disappearance is an abduction or is otherwise suspicious.
- Law enforcement believes the child is serious danger.
- The description of the victim and the circumstances of their abduction or disappearance must be descriptive enough for law enforcement to issue the alert.
- The details have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer and flagged as a child abduction.
One important thing to note is that the AMBER Alert system is not for tracking runaways, missing children or children involved in custody disputes. The program is for child abduction cases where time is of the essence and finding them quickly could be the difference between life and death.
2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the AMBER Alert program in Montana.