State Police Amend Morgan Nick Alerts
The missing child advisory, formally known as the Morgan Nick alert, is now Arkansas' Amber Alert plan. Jeff Presley sits on the board for the Morgan Nick foundation, and says the intention of the name change is to bring clarification to future child abduction cases.
""We just followed the lead for from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and followed the Amber Alert system," states Presley. "Really there was no difference in the alerts, just the name."
Amber alerts no longer have levels. Instead they are classified as amber alerts or missing and endangered child advisories. Officers must have reasonable belief that an actual abduction has occurred, and have enough descriptive information about the victim, and the abduction for law enforcement to assist in their recovery.
Arkansas' amber alert plan will only be activated if the case meets the minimum criteria put forth by the department of justice. Incidents involving runaways or abductions involving parents will not be included, unless the child is believed to be in eminent danger.
Kristy Nichols says the need for Arkansas' amber alert is critical to the work she does at Northeast Arkansas' Children's Advocacy Center. Especially in an age where internet predators can be even more threatening.
"We see case after case where we see a child talking to someone they think is their age on the Internet, and they're not. They're talking to someone in another country that's three times their age or even more." says Nichols.
In the event that a missing child case doesn't meet the requirements for Arkansas' amber alert advisory, an endangered child media advisory may be issued. Presley states that all missing person cases, are of utmost priority.
Presley says, "We don't just put them in a book, or enter them in a system and let them sit. It's always a work in progress."