Why wasn't an AMBER Alert issued for missing children after mother allegedly kidnapped them at gunpoint?

Why was an AMBER Alert not issued?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There are still plenty of questions about a wild chase that ended with a crash on Avenue I in Ensley. Officers say a mom used a gun to kidnap her children.

Those three children - 5-year-old twins and a 2-year-old girl - are safe despite being in the car during the crash. The mother of the children, Derick Irisha Brown is now in jail. She's charged with three counts of first degree kidnapping. Authorities say Brown does not have custody of the children and took them from their legal guardian this morning.

Before all of that, state and local authorities issued an Emergency Child Alert but many of you are asking why you did not get an Amber Alert.

News of Friday's Missing Child Alert spread quickly on social media, but not without some confusion.

"An AMBER Alert was sent out early this morning by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department," Cpl. Steve Smith said on scene of the crash in Ensley.

Turns out that wasn't the case, an Emergency Missing Child Alert, different from an AMBER Alert, was sent out instead by ALEA around 1:30 Friday afternoon some six and a half hours after Jefferson County Sheriff's investigators first got the call about the missing children. ALEA says challenges outside of the fusion center's control prevented an amber alert from being issued such as no pictures of the children, no vehicle description and no direction of travel.

When time is of the essence, why did it take so long for any kind of an alert to be issued?

Last year, Governor Ivey made changes to the state's amber alert guidelines after it took Bessemer police over an hour and a half to request ALEA to issue an amber alert for a vehicle stolen with a child inside. Ivey says the change will result in more amber alerts being issued in the state

"When children get lost or even adults, its a serious thing and you want everybody's eyes wide open looking for this person. So the Amber alert helps a lot," Ivey said.

ALEA says it was in the process of issuing an AMBER Alert once they were able to get a picture of one of the children but right before they were going to send it out they got word the kids were safe and the mom was in custody.

We're still waiting to find out what time JCSO first alerted the state about the missing children.

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