All-points bulletin

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This article is about the broadcast. For other uses, see All Points Bulletin (disambiguation).

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 1960.[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").

Commonwealth realms

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 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]

See also


  1. "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  2. "All Points Bulletin/All Ports Warning". Police Specials. Retrieved 2010-06-15.