Oklahoma Highway Patrol Alerts: What Do They Mean?
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol periodically sends out emergency alerts in an attempt to locate missing people. OHP sends these messages to mobile devices in the approximate area of the emergency. These messages are sent through the same system that sends emergency weather alerts through government agencies.
Each state has its own alerts, some of which Oklahoma does not issue. Alert criteria may vary from state to state.
How are alerts issued?
Oklahoma Highway Patrol alerts begin with local law enforcement, who then contact OHP if they believe an alert is necessary.
What is an Endangered Missing Persons Alert?
Endangered Missing Persons Alerts are self-explanatory and are used when someone is believed to be missing and in danger. In order to issue the alert, law enforcement must verify that the person is in danger, according to the Center for Missing Persons.
Here are some reasons why a person might be at risk:
- If the missing person is diagnosed with a developmental disorder or intellectual disability, this is verified by a doctor.
- The investigation confirmed that the disappearance constitutes a real threat to the health and safety of the missing person.
- The report was prepared within 72 hours of the disappearance.
- There is enough information about the disappearance that the alert will be useful in locating the missing person.
What is an Amber Alert?
Amber Alerts are designed to find children who have been abducted and are believed to be in danger, according to the Department of Justice. Sometimes a Missing Persons Endangered Alert will turn into an amber alert, once all criteria have been checked.
There are specific criteria that must be met for an amber alert:
- Law enforcement must believe the child has been kidnapped.
- Law enforcement must believe the child is at risk of serious injury or death.
- There is enough information about the victim and the kidnapping for an Amber Alert to be useful in recovering the child.
- Kidnapping of a minor.
- The child’s information was entered into the National Crime Information Center system.
What is a silver alert?
OHP says Silver Alerts are issued when a person over the age of 60 who is diagnosed with a disease that affects memory — such as dementia or Alzheimer’s — is missing. Law enforcement must determine that the missing person’s disappearance is due to cognitive impairment, or that the disappearance poses a credible threat to the elderly, according to Oklahoma law. Law enforcement must also verify that issuing the alert will be useful in locating the missing person.
What is a blue alert?
Blue Alerts are used to locate dangerous suspects who have killed or injured an officer, according to OHP. Blue alerts can also be issued when a suspect poses a credible threat to law enforcement, or when an officer is missing, according to the Department of Justice.
(tags for translation) Oklahoma Highway Patrol