The AMBER Plan was created in 1996 as a powerful legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, a bright little girl who was kidnapped and brutally murdered while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas. The tragedy shocked and outraged the entire community. Residents contacted radio stations in the Dallas area and suggested they broadcast special "alerts" over the airwaves so that they could help prevent such incidents in the future. In response to the community's concern for the safety of local children, the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law-enforcement agencies in northern Texas and developed this innovative early warning system to help find abducted children. Statistics show that, when abducted, a child's greatest enemy is time.
In 2003, the Missouri Legislature passed Senate Bill 30 that created the Missouri AMBER Alert System. The Department of Public Safety was given the responsibility to develop a system that would divide the state into regions and provide a coordinated effort between local law enforcement agencies and local media to aid in the identification and location of abducted children. The law also established an oversight committee chaired by the Director of the Department of Public Safety and consisting of members from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Transportation, Missouri Lottery, Missouri Police Chief's Association, Missouri Sheriff's Association, and the Missouri Broadcaster's Association.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is utilized in Missouri to broadcast AMBER Alert's to local media. The AMBER Alert Web Portal and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Wireless Alert are utilized as Secondary Alert Systems (SAS).
The Director of the Department of Public Safety has designated a State AMBER Alert Coordinator within the Missouri State Highway Patrol.