Law enforcement explains process behind issuing Amber Alerts

Law enforcement explains process behind issuing Amber Alerts
Before you hear that alert tone, there is an investigative process law enforcement must go through to get as much information on the missing child and suspect. (Source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - With two Amber Alerts being issued this week, we spoke with law enforcement on what goes into issuing an Amber Alert.

The tone you get on your smartphone. Then hearing police sirens searching for a kid. An amber alert is something no parents wants to have out about their child.

“People need to realize when that alert comes across our phone, it’s not just an annoying beeping sound,” said Forrest County Sheriff’s Investigator John Tryner. “A child’s been abducted somewhere. So, the other end of that beeping, there’s a parent that’s probably very emotional and upset because her child has been abducted.”

But before you hear that tone, there is an investigative process to go through before issuing the alert.

The Forrest County Sheriff’s Office says they need a description of the child, the vehicle the kid went in and the direction the suspect drove off. Then they send that information to the state.

When you see the details on your smartphone, there is a role you can play in help finding a missing child.

"You should just read it, make a mental note of it and have that to where if maybe you do see something that matches the Amber Alert, you could call 911,” said Mississippi Highway Patrol Sgt. Travis Luck.

When looking for someone’s child, law enforcement wants as many people as possible to know what to look for. But they don’t want to give out too much information that would aid the suspect.

"If there’s not a suspect in custody, you don’t necessarily want to disseminate information that may aid them in further alluding the authorities,” Tryner said.

Law enforcement recommends the next time you get an Amber Alert to your phone, you look at the details of where the child was seen last or what kind of vehicle the child went in.

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