An AMBER Alert is a system that warns people about children who have been kidnapped. It started in the United States in 1996. It was named for Amber Hagerman, a nine-year old girl who was kidnapped and killed in Arlington, Texas. It is a backronym for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. Similar systems have been started in other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Europe.
AMBER alerts are often shown on electronic message signs on highways. This often causes bad traffic due to drivers stopping to look at the message. They are also shown on television and heard on radio.
AMBER alerts are issued by police organizations in the state that the kidnapping happens in. They have the name and a description of the child who was kidnapped, a description of the person who police think kidnapped the child, and if available, a description and license plate number of the vehicle of the person who kidnapped the child.