Governor Kay Ivey has signed into law an expanded version of Alabama’s Missing and Endangered Persons Alert, now to include an adult that has been abducted, effective Friday, Sept. 1.
Previously, the criteria for a Missing and Endangered Person Alert stated that a person must be missing and living with a mental or physical disability, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or autism and is at risk of bodily harm or death. The newly expanded alert will include any adult, 18 and older, who has been abducted and is believed to be in danger.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Secretary Hal Taylor said, “We are constantly analyzing our processes and procedures to improve and better serve the citizens of Alabama. Our Fusion Center recognized a need to expand this alert criteria and we are extremely thankful for the support of Governor Ivey and the Legislature, who continuously work with us to enhance the tools and resources we have.”
The State of Alabama has four Missing Person Alerts: the Amber Alert, Emergency Missing Child Alert, Missing and Endangered Persons Alert and Blue Alert. With the exception of the Amber Alert, all three alerts (Emergency Missing Child, Missing and Endangered Persons and Blue) are in accordance with Alabama law and the various alerts criteria are set by statute. The Amber Alert is a nationwide program in which most states, including Alabama, adhere to the Department of Justice’s recommended guidelines and criteria for the alert.
The Alabama Fusion Center (AFC), a unit within ALEA’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), is responsible for issuing Amber Alerts, Emergency Missing Child Alerts, Blue Alerts and Emergency Missing Persons Alerts throughout the state. The Alabama Center for Missing and Exploited Children is organizationally structured within the AFC and serves as a liaison between citizens, private organizations, and law enforcement officials regarding missing and exploited children and adults. Only a law enforcement agency can make a request to activate the state alert system and each alert program contains criteria that must be met. In any situation regarding a missing child or adult, the first step is to notify law enforcement immediately. None of the alerts’ criteria require a person to have been missing for a certain amount of time.
AFC Director Jay Moseley said, “In 2022, ALEA launched a new high-speed notification system known as CodeRED to issue alerts to citizens. Citizens can subscribe to receive notifications in the case of missing persons or during emergency situations by texting “ALalerts” to 99411 or enroll online at alea.gov. We would also like to thank all citizens and local partners throughout Alabama who assist law enforcement by sharing our missing person alerts and those who remain vigilant for these missing individuals.”
Missing Person Alert Criteria:
AMBER ALERT: Child under 18 has been abducted and is believed to be in danger of serious bodily injury or death.
EMERGENCY MISSING CHILD ALERT: Child under 18 is missing (not abducted) and is believed to be in danger of serious bodily injury or death.
MISSING AND ENDANGERED PERSONS ALERT: Person is missing, living with a mental or physical disability, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or autism, or a person has been abducted and is believed to be at risk of bodily harm or death.
BLUE ALERT: Peace Officer is missing, injured or killed and the at large suspect is believed to be a serious threat to the public.