Case Study 

Promptly distributing information when a child is abducted


Kansans should always be mindful when an alert is issued. When a child goes missing, getting detailed information about the incident out to the public as quickly as possible can be critical. The chances of finding an abducted child increase dramatically when more people in the search area are on the lookout – especially in the first few hours. The watchful eyes of Kansas citizens can help save a child’s life.”

– Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General

The Background

The KS AMBER Plan created a network to support the issuance of statewide alerts that aid in quickly mobilizing information to citizens regarding qualifying child abductions. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) was looking to enhance the KS AMBER Alert administration service. The user interface was very rigid and not mobile-friendly, making it difficult at times for KBI personnel to “keystroke” AMBER alerts containing all the relevant data and difficult to issue AMBER alerts on the go.

The Solution

In working with NIC, the KS AMBER Alert administration service was enhanced. The modifications allowed for more flexible acceptance of data within the required fields and a serious overhaul to the user interface, included integrating a mobile-first template. The introduction of a single sign-on module helps provide security from unauthorized personnel accessing the administrative portions of the service. Other critical updates included the ability to launch an alert with multiple abductees, suspects, and vehicles.

The Results

The digital reach that can be achieved through the AMBER Alert service replaces potentially thousands of communications conducted by human capitol. The speed with which an alert can be deployed within the AMBER Alert administration service also has a critical benefit in terms of time savings, as literally every second counts when a child is missing. Also, there have been strong increases in mobile usage among the public, as year-over-year analysis shows mobile usage during an active alert has increased from 43 percent to 70 percent.