(GREAT FALLS) Whenever a child is reported missing in Montana, law enforcement agencies work quickly to determine the circumstances, and whether or not to issue an AMBER Alert, or a Missing/Endangered Person Advisory (MEPA).
The AMBER Alert program started in Texas in 1996 after 9-year old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered. Broadcasters in the area teamed up with law enforcement agencies to establish a program capable of quickly distributing information about child abductions to the general public. In memory of Amber, the program was called the AMBER Plan—America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.
In Montana, officials also have the option of issuing a Missing/Endangered Person Advisory.
Here is the difference between the two:
To activate the program, all of the following criteria must be met:
The AMBER Alert system is not used to track runaways, missing children, or children involved in custody disputes. The program is restricted to child abduction cases that could be life-threatening.
A MEPA Advisory is initiated solely by Montana law enforcement agencies using the following criteria: