When Adji Desir went missing in Immakolee, Fl. an AMBER Alert was not activated. There were none activated in Escondido, Ca. following the disappearance of Amber Dubois nor in Tracy, Ca. in the case of Sandra Cantu. The reason given by authorities, none of them met the criteria for activation.
Critics argue if the alerts are issued too often, people will become desensitized thus ignoring them. So why isn’t this “boy who cried wolf” scenario a concern for states with Silver Alert programs?
There were 128 Silver Alerts activated in North Carolina in 2008. Forty four of them were between Oct-Dec. An additional 67 have been issued as of March 2009.
Silver Alert Criteria
ALL of the following statutory criteria must be met before the N.C. Center for Missing Persons will activate a Silver Alert:
The person is believed to be suffering from dementia or other cognitive impairment- regardless of age The person is believed to be missing – regardless of circumstance A legal custodian of the missing person has submitted a missing person’s report to the local law enforcement agency where the person went missing Law enforcement reports the incident to the NC Center for Missing Persons
This is in sharp contrast to the number of AMBER Alerts. There were 8 alerts activated for all of 2008 with an additional 5 being activated as of March 2009.
AMBER Alert Activation Criteria
ALL of the following statutory criteria (GS §143B-499.7) must be met before the NC Center for Missing Persons will activate an AMBER Alert.
The child is:
17 years old or younger believed to have been abducted, not taken by a parent (unless the child is in danger) not believed to be a runaway or voluntarily missing and the abduction has been reported to and investigated by a law enforcement agency.
Are the AMBER Alert criteria too strict or the Silver Alert criteria too lenient?
Read a summary of all AMBER Alert activations in N.C.
Silver Alerts and North Carolina