Oklahoma Highway Patrol Alerts: What Do They Mean?

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol issues four different kinds of alerts; Amber, Endangered Missing, Silver and Blue.

Friday, September 8th 2023, 3:33 pm

By: Sydney Langley


The Oklahoma Highway Patrol periodically sends out emergency alerts in an effort 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 their own alerts, some of which Oklahoma does not issue. Alert criteria may vary from state to state.

How Do Alerts Get Issued?

Oklahoma Highway Patrol alerts start with local law enforcement, who then reach out to OHP if they believe an alert is necessary.

What Is An Endangered Missing Persons Alert?

An Endangered Missing Persons Alerts is pretty self-explanatory, it is used when a person is believed to be missing and endangered. In order to issue the alert, law enforcement has to verify that the person is in danger, according to Center For The Missing.

Here are some reasons a person could be in danger:

  1. If the missing person has been diagnosed with a developmental disorder or intellectual disability, verified by a doctor.
  2. An investigation has confirmed that the disappearance poses a credible threat to the health and safety of the missing person.
  3. The report has been made within 72 hours of the disappearance.
  4. There is enough information about the disappearance that the alert would be helpful in locating the missing person.

What Is An Amber Alert?

Amber Alerts are designed to find children who have been abducted who are believed to be in danger, according to the Department of Justice. Sometimes, an Endangered Missing Persons Alert will become an Amber Alert, once all criteria have been verified.

There is specific criteria that must be met for an Amber Alert:

  1. Law enforcement must believe the child has been abducted.
  2. Law enforcement must believe the child is in danger of serious injury or death.
  3. There is enough information about the victim and abduction for an Amber Alert to be helpful in recovering the child.
  4. The abduction is of a minor.
  5. The child’s information has been entered into the National Crime Information Center system.

What Is A Silver Alert?

Silver Alerts are issued when a person over the age of 60 and diagnosed with a disease that affects memory - like dementia or Alzheimer's - is missing, OHP says. Law enforcement must determine that the disappearance of the missing person is due to cognitive impairment, or that the disappearance poses a credible threat to the senior, according to Oklahoma law. Law enforcement must also verify that issuing the alert would be helpful 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 DOJ.

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