The CARE Alert program was created through the combined efforts of the San Diego Sheriffs Department, the Executive Committee of the Emergency Alert System, and representatives of local television, radio, and cable companies in San Diego county. The CARE Alert is loosely based on a program originally created in Texas, known as the Amber Alert. The Amber Alert was created after the kidnap and murder of nine year old Amber Hagerman. From this tragedy an innovative program was designed to combine the resources of the media and law enforcement in the recovery of an abducted child.
A CARE Alert is initiated when a report of a life threatening abduction is taken and confirmed by law enforcement officials. Law enforcement then contacts the San Diego Emergency Alert System to request an immediate program interruption and broadcast of the circumstances surrounding the abduction, including a description of the victim, suspect and vehicle.
CARE Alerts utilize the capabilities of the Emergency Alert System for delivering emergency messages to all television sets and radio receivers in the San Diego area.
This type of cooperative program between law enforcement and the media has proven extremely successful in recovering the victim and apprehending the suspect in various communities throughout the United States.