All-points bulletin

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An all-points bulletin (APB) is a broadcast issued from any American or Canadian law enforcement agency to its personnel, or to other law enforcement agencies. It typically contains information about a wanted suspect who is to be arrested or a person of interest, for whom law enforcement officers are to look. They are usually dangerous or missing persons. As used by American police, the term dates to at least 1947.[1]

An all-points bulletin can also be known as a BOLO or BOL, which stands for "be on (the) look-out". Such an alert may also be called a lookout or ATL ("attempt to locate").

Other countries[edit]

A similar, longer acronym used by Australian law enforcement is KALOF or KLO4 (for "keep a look-out for"). The United Kingdom uses a similar system known as the all-ports warning or APW, which circulates a suspect's description to airports, ports and international railway stations to detect an offender or suspect leaving the country. Because of the great numbers of commuters at such places, British police forces often prefer to contact specific airports, ports or stations and circulate descriptions individually.[2]

In the Metropolitan police an "all cars" message is used.[where?]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Records and Briefs of the United States Supreme Court, p. 25". Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  2. ^ "All Points Bulletin/All Ports Warning". Police Specials. Archived from the original on 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2010-06-15.