Texas Center for the Missing
Houston Regional Amber Alert
Houston Regional Amber Alert
This program made possible, in part, by a United Way Community Building Grant.” 

A cooperative public service effort between local law enforcement, media outlets,
Amber Plan Partners, and the public to safely recover abducted children.
When is the Amber Alert Activated? The following five criteria must be met to activate the Houston Regional Amber Plan (HRAP): (1) A child must be 17 years of age or younger. (2) The law enforcement agency believes the missing child has been abducted. (3) The law enforcement agency believes the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death. (4) The law enforcement agency has conducted an investigation that has verified that an abduction has taken place or ruled out alternative explanations. (5) Sufficient information is available to distribute to the public that could assist in locating the abducted child, suspect, or the vehicle used in the abduction.

Who Activates the Alert?
The local law enforcement agency where the incident occurs must decide if the case fits Amber Alert criteria and activates the system.

How is an Amber Alert Activated?
Law enforcement agencies access a secure Houston Regional Amber Plan website and the Alert is distributed to all regional law enforcement agencies, media outlets, and Amber Plan business partners. Amber Plan business partners notify employees traveling in the area to look for the missing child or suspect’s vehicle. The child’s photo and Amber Alert message are also sent to subscribers and posted on the Amber Plan website (www.amber-plan.net). When the child is located, the Amber Alert is cancelled.

Does the Amber Plan Work?
Across the country, the Amber Alert is credited with the successful recovery of hundreds of children. The Houston Regional Amber Plan has a 90% success rate. To view all of the HRAP alerts, visit www.amber-plan.net.

Who Participates in the Plan? Local law enforcement agencies in Houston’s 14-county region (Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, Waller, and Wharton counties), media outlets, and Amber Plan Partners.

Who Are Amber Plan Partners? Houston-area businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations that actively participate in the Amber Alert Program. There is no cost to become a partner, but interested parties must register with HRAP. Companies and agencies with a large number of drivers and vehicles are especially encouraged to participate as Amber Plan Partners.

Who Oversees the Amber Plan? Texas Center for the Missing administers the Plan and an independent Board of Directors provides oversight. The Amber Plan follows FCC rules for activating the Emergency Alert System.

What Should I Do if I Witness a Child Being Abducted or Believe a Child Is Missing? Call 9-1-1 immediately and ask for the police department in your area. Then provide the police with as much information as you can about the child, the suspect, and the suspect’s vehicle.

Why is it Called Amber Alert? The program is named in memory of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted while playing near her grandparents’ Arlington, Texas, home in 1996. She was found murdered a few days later following an extensive search. To this day, the case remains unsolved.


To learn how to become an Amber Alert Partner, click here.
Download a Registration Form (PDF Format)
or contact Beth Alberts at 713.599.0235 or via email: balberts@tcftm.org.

About Amber Hagerman

In January 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was riding her bicycle on a warm Saturday afternoon when a neighbor heard the girl scream. The neighbor saw a man pull Amber off her bike, throw her into the front seat of his pickup truck, and drive away at a high speed.

The neighbor called police and provided a description of the suspect and his vehicle, but could not recall much else. Arlington Police and the FBI interviewed other neighbors and searched for the suspect and vehicle. Local radio and TV stations covered the story in their regular newscasts

A concerned citizen contacted a Dallas area radio station, suggesting the idea that Dallas radio stations should repeat news bulletins about abducted children just like they do severe weather warnings.
The idea was presented to the Association of Radio Managers (ARM) composed of general managers of the major radio stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The general managers agreed that such a program would provide an important public service and might help save the life of a child.
The Dallas Amber Plan was started in July 1997. Since then, the program has successfully recovered hundreds of children and has expanded to other cities and states nationwide.