Major Components of Virginia’s AMBER Alert System

Emergency Alert System (EAS)
EAS is a national civil emergency alert system designed to inform the public of immediate threats to national security, life and property. It is one component of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). EAS broadcasts messages to the public over radio and television, beginning and ending with the familiar warning tones.. The Department of State Police uses the Everbridge Public Warning platform to send notifications through EAS.

Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN)
VCIN is a telecommunication system that provides 24-hour access for Virginia law enforcement agencies to enter and query information regarding any missing person.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Message Boards and Highway Alert Radio and other VDOT Communication Systems
These systems are maintained by VDOT. Electronic changeable message signs and radio systems will be used to disseminate information to the public as they utilize the highway transportation system. Fixed signs are located on major highways throughout the state, and portable signs can be placed in other locations as needed. These signs and radio system could be used to transmit information to the public regarding a child abduction. The other communication systems will provide information to Virginia rest areas, welcome centers, truck weigh stations, and toll facilities.

Lost Child Alert Technology Resource (LOCATOR) System
LOCATOR is a software system that creates missing persons posters for local, statewide, and national distribution. During an abduction or when an “Amber Alert” is authorized, the Virginia Missing Children Information Clearinghouse (VMPC) can use LOCATOR to generate posters to publicize the case. VMPC is the only Virginia agency that can create a LOCATOR poster with the “Amber Alert” banner.

Virginia Missing Children Clearinghouse (VMCC)
The VMCC, operated by the Department of State Police, is responsible for the AMBER Alert Program and serves as the central repository for information about missing children in Virginia.

Secondary Components of Virginia’s AMBER Alert System

Public Utilities’ Communication Systems
The major public utilities within the Commonwealth have communication systems capable of notifying their field employees when the Virginia “AMBER Alert” Plan is activated. These utilities include electric companies, gas companies, cable companies, etc.