INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It’s been a record breaking week for Amber Alerts in Indiana. The emergency system has been activated four times, including twice in one day on Monday.
So far this year, Amber Alerts have been issued six times in Indiana. State officials say there's a reason for all of the alerts.
An Amber Alert was issued for two children kidnapped from a Fort Wayne home last Monday. Sadly, the alert didn't stop their mother from allegedly killing the two kids.
The next day another Amber Alert came out of Center Grove after a mother picked up her daughter from school after losing custody of the child.
On Monday of this week a third alert came out from Hammond after a 2-month-old boy and his mother were thought to be abducted.
Only six hours later in Sheridan, a fourth alert was issued for a 17-year-old girl. Dustin Fisher, a violent convicted sex offender, was suspected in the disappearance.
“We do not issue these willy-nilly,” said Indiana State Police captain Dave Bursten. “Hopefully we don't have another one, but if it meets the standard we will issue it.”
The state uses four specific criteria before issuing an Amber Alert. The child is under 18 years of age. The child also has to be in imminent danger of injury or death. There has to be a good description of suspect or vehicle. The investigating agency has to request the alert.
“We don't want to overuse it, but we`re not going to say well we had two alerts last week so we`re not going to do another. The bottom line is does it meet the standard,” said Bursten.
The Amber Alert system started in Indiana 14 years ago in 2002. Since then, it's been activated 44 times, 51 children have been successfully located and five children ended up deceased.
The victims were successfully recovered in the last three alerts, but state police know overusing the system would make the warnings less effective.
“If we did an alert for everybody, you`d get an alert every 43 minutes, if we did an alert for every runaway every missing child,” said Bursten.
From 2011 to 2015, there were only five Amber Alerts issued in total over those five years.