Office of Justice Programs AMBER Alert - America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response

Secondary Distribution of AMBER Alerts

A mechanism has been created for the secondary distribution of AMBER Alerts through agreements between the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and national communication companies, such as ADVO, Yahoo!, AOL and MySpace.

When NCMEC receives AMBER Alerts from DOJ-recognized AMBER Alert coordinators, it disseminates the Alerts to the secondary distributors who have entered into formal signed agreements with NCMEC. The Alert is then transmitted to their subscribers residing in the targeted areas, which are identified by zip code, within the state that issued the Alert.

If the activating agency wishes to transmit the alert outside state lines, they must notify NCMEC and ask that they seek permission from the other state or states. This permission can be granted in advance only through an agreement between the activating agency and the other state AMBER Alert coordinators to avoid the dissemination of incorrect information through private vendors.

The AMBER Alert Secondary Distribution system is up and running, and has proven effective in recovering abducted children. Having access to the capabilities of large communication companies through this secondary distribution process greatly increases the chances for abducted children to be safely recovered.