APB Meaning: What Does APB Stand for?

The acronym “APB” has been used for many years, especially in one particular field. If you have recently come across this acronym and were wondering its meaning, then you have arrived in the right spot.

Here you will find the meaning of this term and the phrase that it represents. You will also find details about its origin and some other meanings if it has any. Conversation examples will be provided to you here as well so you can learn how the term is used properly in an everyday context and help you gain a better knowledge of its meaning. Finally, you will see some words or phrases that can be used in place of the phrase that this acronym represents that will not change its meaning.

Key Takeaways

  • APB refers to a broadcast alert issued to police stations, often used for coordinating efforts to apprehend suspects.
  • The term has expanded beyond law enforcement, making its way into informal communication in texting and social media.
  • APB’s usage in casual settings still generally pertains to alerting others about significant people, events, or items of interest.

APB Meaning

What Does APB Mean?

APB stands for All Points Bulletin, which is a notification among police agencies about a wanted person or a particular suspect. It is a general bulletin broadcast to alert law-enforcement officers over a wide area that someone or something, such as a vehicle, is being actively sought in connection with a crime. APBs may be sent among different police stations in an area, state, or even across multiple states. The main purpose of an APB is to facilitate the arrest of a suspect and provide additional information that can help locate them.

When law enforcement issues an APB, they often provide specific details about the suspect, such as their physical description, clothing, possible locations, known associates, and any other relevant information. This information can be critical in identifying and apprehending the individual or group of individuals involved in criminal activity.

Origin of APB

This term originated in the 1960s within the field of law enforcement. It was used as a broadcast so that agencies could communicate with each other to find wanted suspects or people of interest for crimes that they have committed or may have been involved with in some fashion. These types of notifications can also contain information regarding the make and model of a car if one was involved in the crime or it is the car believed to be driven by the suspect.

Related Terms to APB

  • BOL: Be On the Lookout is a similar term to APB used by law enforcement to notify all officers in an area to pay special attention to locating a suspect or a specific vehicle related to a crime.
  • Police Station: A police station is a building where local law enforcement personnel work to maintain safety and security in their jurisdiction. APBs are often issued from one police station to others within a specified area or state.
  • Suspects: Individuals who are believed to be involved in criminal activities and are being actively sought by law enforcement. An APB may be issued to help apprehend these suspects.
  • Law Enforcement: Agencies responsible for maintaining public order and safety, enforcing laws, and preventing and investigating crimes. Law enforcement officers are the primary recipients of APBs, utilizing them to coordinate efforts in locating and arresting suspects.
  • Area: The specific geographic region that an APB covers. It may encompass a single city, an entire state, or multiple states depending on the severity of the crime and the level of coordination required among law enforcement agencies.
  • Medical: In rare cases, an APB may also involve medical emergencies, such as a missing person who requires urgent medical attention or someone carrying a communicable disease that poses a public health risk.

Other Meanings

Like most acronyms, this one too can also be used to represent other phrases as well that represent more specific things such as titles of organizations or job-related processes. Some of the other things that this acronym can be used to represent are “Accounting Principles Board,” “Annual Performance Bonus,” “Atrial Premature Beat,” “Analytical Processing Benchmark,” and “American Policy Board.”

Synonyms of APB

There are a few synonyms that you could use to replace this acronym and the phrase that it represents without changing the meaning of the original term. Some of the other phrases you could use instead include:

  • official notification
  • official broadcast
  • wanted criminal alert

APB Examples

Examples of APB in Texting and Social Posts

APB is an abbreviation commonly used in texting and online communication, standing for “All Points Bulletin.” This term originates from law enforcement agencies, specifically in the U.S. and Canada, where it is used to alert personnel or other agencies about a matter requiring urgent attention, usually involving a wanted criminal or a missing person.

In the context of social media and online conversations, APB is often employed to convey an important message or announcement to a group or community. For example, someone might post, “APB: There’s a lost dog in the area, please keep an eye out and contact me if you see it.” The use of APB in texting and social posts emphasizes the urgency and significance of the message, drawing attention from the recipients.

While the abbreviation APB has its roots in the police and criminal contexts, it has been colloquially adopted in various other scenarios. Outside of its common meaning, APB can also stand for “A Path Beyond,” referring to a computer game, or “Apoptygma Berzerk,” which is a Norwegian music group. In the army context, APB may be used to symbolize “Annual Performance Bonus,” referring to a financial reward granted to personnel for their performance over a year.

It is essential to consider the context in which APB is used to deduce the accurate meaning of the abbreviation. The majority of social posts and texts will leverage the primary definition: “All Points Bulletin.” This meaning is applicable across various situations, from alerting friends and family about a lost item to warning community members about potential threats in the area.

In summary, APB is a versatile abbreviation that originated from law enforcement but has taken on a broader meaning in texting and social media platforms. The common use of APB is to emphasize the urgency or importance of a message, but it can also refer to other entities, such as games, music groups, or bonuses in the army, depending on the context.

Conversation Examples

A conversation between wife and husband via text message.

  • Husband: Please be careful on the way out to your car tonight when you leave work.
  • Wife: Why? What is going on?
  • Husband: They just put an APB out over the police band for a guy that robbed a bank at gunpoint nearby to your job.
  • Wife: Okay! Thank you for letting me know! I will make sure to walk to my car with my pepper spray in hand.

An online conversation between two users on Twitter.

  • User 1: Someone stole my car today! I cannot believe that this has happened!
  • User 2: Did you call the police? Did they put out an APB for your vehicle?
  • User 1: Yes, I called them and they did put out the APB. Just waiting to see if they find it!

APB Meaning Infographic

APB Meaning: Examples and Definition of Useful Acronym "APB"Pin

Frequently Asked Questions

How does an APB differ from a BOLO?

An APB (All Points Bulletin) is a broadcast alert from one police station to all other police stations in an area, such as a city or a state. It typically includes instructions to apprehend a specific suspect or suspects. On the other hand, a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) is a similar alert but circulated among law enforcement officers or agencies, often with a focus on locating individuals or vehicles fitting a specific description.

What is the purpose of an APB in a police search?

The primary goal of an APB is to share information related to a suspect or an ongoing criminal investigation across multiple law enforcement jurisdictions. It ensures that officers and agencies are on the same page, and it helps coordinate search efforts. By alerting all relevant police stations, an APB can expedite the apprehension of suspects, recovery of stolen property, or location of missing persons.

How is an APB issued for a missing person?

When a person is reported missing, and there is enough evidence to indicate that the person may be in danger or a victim of a criminal act, law enforcement may issue an APB. The APB would include the missing person’s description, last known location, and any other pertinent information that could help locate them. Police stations in the applicable area would then be on alert, taking any reported sightings or new leads into account to aid in the search for the missing individual.