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The process of issuing an Amber Alert can be complicated and drawn out

Posted at 6:42 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 19:42:10-04

VILLAGE OF ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (NBC 26) -- An Amber Alert was issued on Thursday and within about four hours it was cancelled, when a Wisconsin Rapids baby was found and recovered safely by police. Sadly though, this will not be the last Amber Alert issued in Wisconsin; a process that took upwards of 20 hours to be pushed to the public in this particular instance.

At about noon on Thursday, the majority of the state of Wisconsin got an alert on their phone, an all too uncommon Amber Alert.

"We really want the public to take them seriously, that's why you don't see a lot of them," says Deputy Chief Nick Kozloski of the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department.

Kozloski says before the Department of Justice will green-light an Amber Alert to be issued, three sets of criteria must be met. For starters the person believed to be abducted has to be 17-years of age or younger, the child's life has to be considered to be endangered, and thirdly law enforcement has to have descriptive information about the child and the suspect. Once all of the criteria is met the rare alert is pushed to the public, once law enforcement establishes proof of concern to multiple state agencies.

"It's just so we don't have that kind of boy who cried wolf situation. Where people stop listening to them (Amber Alerts) or looking at them. They are very serious, and we do want the public to take them seriously," adds Kozloski.

With over 16-years of law enforcement experience, Deputy Chief Kozloski has never been a member of a department that had to personally request an Amber Alert. But, he says the closer a department is located to a perceived abduction the more involved they get.

"Neighboring counties are going to be a lot more affected by it. There might be some more information sharing that occurs," adds Kozloski.

And with the latest Amber Alert being issued and thankfully shortly thereafter canceled, Kozloski hopes the public understands just how important such an alert can be.

"This information being put out could save a child's life, so please take it seriously."