South Carolina AMBER Alert


Purpose of the SC AMBER Alert

The South Carolina AMBER Alert is a partnership of law enforcement and broadcasting to alert the public in cases of child abduction. Citizens will be provided information about the abduction so they can aid law enforcement in locating the child.

Who Activates the AMBER Alert?

Upon notification by a police department or sheriff’s department, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is the only entity that can activate the SC AMBER Alert.

Activation Criteria

An AMBER Alert will be activated only when the following criteria are met.

  • The law enforcement agency believes that the child has been abducted (taken from their environment unlawfully, without authority of law, and without permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian).
  • The child is 17 years old or younger, and the law enforcement agency believes the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death.
  • The individual is 18 years old or older, and is believed to be at risk for immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death due to a proven physical or mental disability.
  • All other possibilities for the victim’s disappearance have been reasonably excluded.
  • There is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the victim, suspect, or vehicle used in the abduction.

How Does the Program Work?

Local law enforcement agency determines that a case meets the criteria for AMBER activation.

  • Local law enforcement agency notifies SLED
  • SLED distributes AMBER Alerts to broadcast stations via email and the EAS system. (Stations wishing to sign-up for the program or change their database information should fill out a Station Contact Form.) 
  • Stations immediately air the AMBER Alert message, and continue to air the message at 15-minute intervals for the next three hours, or until the alert is canceled. Complete station protocol is outlined in the AMBER Alert Station Operations Manual.
  • SLED will distribute AMBER Alert to all South Carolina law enforcement agencies
  • SLED will distribute AMBER Alert to SCDOT for activation of traffic advisory signs via broadcast messages and highway signs. Citizens will be advised to call 911 if they have information regarding the abduction.

Blue Alert & Endangered Persons Advisory

SC Blue Alert is issued when a law enforcement officer has been killed or injured.

Endangered Person Advisory (EPNS) is issued when an endangered missing person with dementia or other cognitive impairment is traveling statewide.

What broadcasters need to know:

  • Only SLED will activate the Blue Alert or EPNS and only when all criteria are met.
  • The EAS systems will not be utilized for Blue Alert or EPNS.
  • Blue Alerts and EPNS alerts will be distributed by SLED to broadcasters by email utilizing the AMBER Alert database contacts.
  • We recommend you utilize the same station protocol for Blue Alerts and EPNS that you utilize for AMBER Alerts, but stations should follow what works best for their operational format, while providing the very best coverage for these very important, and often life-saving, news stories.

For More Information

For information regarding the law enforcement aspects of the SC AMBER Alert program, contact:

Alexandra Cataldo Schelble, SC State AMBER Alert Coordinator, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) & South Carolina Intelligence and Information Center (SCIIC)

Phone: (803) 896-7962
Address: PO Box 21398, Columbia, SC 29221

For information regarding the broadcast aspects of the SC AMBER Alert program, contact:

Dody Yarborough, Executive Director at the South Carolina Broadcasters Association (SCBA)

Phone: (803) 732-1186
Fax: (803) 732-4085
Address: 2711 Middleburg Drive, Suite 201, Columbia, SC 29204

For information regarding the Department of Transportation aspects of the SC AMBER Alert program, contact:

Dan Campbell, SC DOTPOB

Phone: (803) 737-1646
Fax: (803) 737-1224

Internet Resources:
National Center For Missing and Exploited Children –
SC Law Enforcement Division –
SC Sheriffs’ Association –
Station Protocol –

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