State makes change to missing person alerts
Special to the Enquirer
Effective June 1, a change to Alabama’s laws for missing person alerts will include vulnerable people previously missed by a gap in coverage.
The expanded version of the state’s Missing Senior Alert is now known as a Missing and Endangered Person Alert, following a change signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.
Previously, a Missing Senior Alert could be issued for citizens with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia who were at risk of bodily harm or death. AMBER Alerts and Emergency Missing Child Alerts could be issued for subjects 17 and younger. There was no provision for state-issued alerts for people 18 or older who were not senior citizens but who had mental or physical disabilities and were at risk while lost.
“In the past, our Alabama Fusion Center has faced the challenge of how to alert the public when a missing individual is too old to meet the criteria for an AMBER or Emergency Missing Child Alert and too young to meet the criteria for a Missing Senior Alert,” said Hal Taylor, secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. “We appreciate Gov. Ivey and the Legislature’s support in working with us to ensure some of the state’s most vulnerable individuals who are reported missing are found as quickly as possible.”
The Fusion Center is a unit within ALEA’s State Bureau of Investigation. In addition to AMBER Alerts, Emergency Missing Child Alerts and the new Endangered and Missing Person Alert, it also can issue a Blue Alert when a law officer is missing, injured or killed and a suspect is believed to present a serious threat to the public.
Information on current alerts can be found at app.alea.gov.