Michigan State Police changes Amber Alert criteria for 2017

Posted at 10:04 AM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 10:04:28-05

The Michigan State Police announced it is changing the guidelines for issuing Amber Alerts in the state in 2017.

The emergency response system is used to send out information about a missing child. 

Before, the alerts were issued for abducted children as well as missing children with severe mental or physical disabilities. Now, according to MSP, Amber Alerts will only be issued for child abduction cases when the victim is under the age of 18.

All Amber Alerts will now get a Wireless Emergency Alert -- and license plate numbers are no longer necessary under the new guidelines.  

If a missing child does not meet the Amber Alert criteria, a new "Endangered Missing Advisory" notice will be issued. 

"Any time a child goes missing, it’s an urgent situation and we should all pay attention; however, in the case of child abductions the urgency is even greater," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, in a statement. "By tightening the standards for issuing an AMBER Alert we will ensure these alerts are utilized in only the most dire of circumstances to get credible, useful information out to the public in order to bring abducted children home safely."