Free Public Police Records
Among the most readily available and recognized of free public police records are missing and exploited person reports.
After the disappearance and murder of Adam Walsh in 1981 the boy’s father founded a victim’s rights organization called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help get the word out quickly when a child is taken. In 2006 a law called the Adam Walsh Law was passed to require all sexual offenders who prey on children to be registered.
The AMBER alert, which stands for "America's Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response", and is also named for victim, Amber Hagerman, who was murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996, is a series of protocols that passes along information about likely abductions. These are always situations where it is suspected that the child is in imminent danger of death or serious injury and gets the picture and description of the child out on a network using computers, cell phones and broadcast stations. The information is also entered into the National Crime Information Center, which raises the awareness to a national level. Amber Alerts can go out very quickly and are responsible for saving lives.
One example of free public police records is missing persons and how the nation can activate a support network very quickly to prevent crime when the stakes are high. In the case of missing or exploited children the information goes out to all broadcast media as soon as a police department determines that there is immediate danger for a missing child. Another network of responders get the alert out through computers and wireless devices.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is the lead agency for managing AMBER alerts. The U.S. Department of Justice provided guidelines for the consistent application of AMBER alerts.