Department of Justice shuts down Amber Alert system

Amber Alert

Updated: 4:10 p.m.

Before this morning, you could scour the federal government’s Amber Alert website for missing children in your area.

But instead of finding photos and other urgent information about missing children, people were greeted this morning with a brief message: “Due to the lapse in federal funding, this Office of Justice Programs (OJP) website is unavailable.”

The site went offline today because of the federal government shutdown, which is entering its second week. But by early afternoon, the site was back up.

The site, www.amberalert.gov, was created to provide up-to-the-minute updates on missing children so residents and law enforcement across all jurisdictions could be on the immediate look out.

It’s unclear how the site’s shutdown will impact missing-person cases in Michigan, but we’ll be seeking answers.

The Detroit Police Department issues its own Amber Alerts. But many of the alerts, such as those along the highways, are paid by federal funds, according to the state.

Authorities currently are searching for an 11-year-old boy from Detroit who went missing Sunday.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.