Missing person alerts expanded

Published 12:02 pm Sunday, September 17, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Alabama Missing and Endangered Person Alerts have been updated to include Abducted Adult alerts as of Sept. 1.

Governor Kay Ivey signed the expansion into law so that alerts include any adult, 18-years-of-age and older, who has been abducted and is believed to be in danger. Previous criteria included only a person missing and living with a mental or physical disability, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or autism and who is also at risk of bodily harm or death. 

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Secretary Hal Taylor said the agency and specifically the Alabama Fusion Center division of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), recognized the need for expansion.

Email newsletter signup

“We are constantly analyzing our processes and procedures to improve and better serve the citizens of Alabama,” Taylor said. “Our Fusion Center recognized a need to expand this alert criterion 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.”  

Four Missing Person Alerts – the Amber Alert, Emergency Missing Child Alert, Missing and Endangered Persons Alert and Blue Alert – help citizens report and locate missing or endangered persons. 

The Alabama Fusion Center (AFC) 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 a part of AFC and serves as a liaison between citizens, private organizations, and law enforcement officials regarding missing and exploited children and adults. 

Requests to activate the state alert system come only from law enforcement agencies and must meet specific criteria. In the case of missing adults or children, law enforcement must be notified immediately and none of the alert systems’ criteria require a person to have been missing for a certain amount of time.

According to Fusion Center Director Jay Moseley, ALEA launched a new high-speed notification system known as CodeRED in 2022 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,” Moseley said. “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 alerts must meet the following 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. 

To learn more about missing person alerts, visit alea.gov.