Amber Alert Qualifications - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Amber Alert Qualifications

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- In the case of a missing child, authorities typically enact an AMBER Alert, but in a recent case in Pierce County, officers did not.

New rules adopted by police agencies changed what they consider to be an AMBER Alert to not overwhelm media or the public.

Washington State Patrol says if a stranger abducts a child it's an AMBER Alert, but for custodial issues of missing children it's now called a missing endangered.

But WSP says they take each case very seriously, no matter who is the abductor.

"It doesn't matter who the abductor is, that's who we're looking for and we'll detain them for as long as necessary to figure out what the situation is. If that was the correct person, if they have the child and investigate it properly," said Sgt. David DeVere, Washington State Patrol.

Since the AMBER Alert system started in 1996, the web portal reduces initiation response times from originally two hours to less than 15 minutes.