TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Lying to police is never okay. But, especially when a child's safety is involved.
When a child is abducted and in danger, Indiana State Police Master Trooper Matt Ames says authorities are always ready to take action.
Ames shares, "It's our most precious commodity, it's our children are out here, that's who we want to take care of, and help them, and grow them up to adults."
But over the weekend, the Amber Alert system came into question in Illinois. That's after police discovered a report was made with false information, and a child was never in danger. Trooper Ames says this is unacceptable.
Ames says, "It's very important when you do use an Amber Alert or you call 911 in reference to a child abduction, it's something we do take very seriously. It's nothing to be played with."
Trooper Ames says it is a strenuous process to get an Amber Alert issued. Also, if you truly do need police help to locate your child, Ames says knowledge is power.
Ames explains, "It's very important to have as much information as available. We do need what the age, the sex of the victim, and then just a blonde hair, blue eyes, just all the information. And, a colored photo to go along with it, just so people can see what they're looking for."
But Ames stresses, giving false information can only hurt the Amber Alert system as a whole. And, those who lead police astray will face the consequences.
Ames shares, "When you're making a false report that is a very chargeable offense, and you can spend time in jail for making false accusations to a police officer."
Ames says if your child has been taken and is in danger, the first step is to call 911 immediately.
Trooper Ames says there is an important conversation parents need to have with their kids. He explains, "Make sure that the child knows what their phone number is, their address. So that way in case they do get away from the person who's abducted them they can go to another adult or to a police officer, and then they can be able to relay that information to them."
Police ask you to take every Amber Alert seriously. Officials say by taking a few seconds to look at the alert, you could save a child's life.