Displaying items by tag: missing persons searches

Monday, 07 January 2019 18:24

Endangered Missing Persons Alert

Similar to wandering incidents in older adults with Alzheimer's and related dementias, those with intellectual disabilities (Autism, Developmental Disorders etc.), are also prone to wandering into unsafe environments. In year 2011, Texas AMBER Alert legislation was updated to include alerts for missing persons (of any age) with an intellectual disability. In order to avoid public confusion with AMBER Alerts for abducted children, the name "Endangered Missing Persons Alert" was selected.

The below represents Endangered Missing Persons Alert criteria for the state's network:

  • Has the missing person been diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability and/or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, including Asperger's Disorder, Autistic Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett's Disorder or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified)? If the missing person has been diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability, law enforcement shall require a written diagnosis from a physician or psychologist licensed to practice within Texas, or certified by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services and/or Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Is it confirmed that an investigation has taken place, verifying that a reasonable explanation for the missing person's disappearance has been ruled out and that the disappearance poses a credible threat to the health and safety of the missing person?
  • Is the Endangered Missing Persons Alert request being made within 72 hours of the missing person's disappearance?
  • Is there sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the missing person? (Highway signs will be activated only if accurate vehicle information is available AND it is confirmed that the missing person was in the vehicle at the time of the disappearance).
Monday, 07 January 2019 17:57

Amber Alert System

The Amber Alert System

Local community reaction to the brutal kidnapping and death of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Arlington, TX (1996), prompted local media and law enforcement to create the nation’s first AMBER Alert program in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. AMBER Alerts inform the public of serious child abductions, in an effort to promote tips and leads to law enforcement. In memory of the tragic death of Amber Hagerman, the letters of her name can be seen within the title of the program, America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER).

In 2002, Governor Rick Perry created the state's AMBER Alert network per Executive Order RP-16, later codified through legislation in 2003. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was given legislative authority to coordinate the state's AMBER Alert network, which served as the role model for the subsequent Silver, Blue, and Endangered Missing Persons alert programs.

The below represents AMBER Alert criteria for the state's network:

  • Is this child 17 years of age or younger, whose whereabouts are unknown, and whose disappearance law enforcement has determined to be unwilling which poses a credible threat to the child's safety and health; and if abducted by a parent or legal guardian, was the abduction in the course of an attempted murder or murder?
    OR
    Is this child 13 years of age or younger, who was taken (willingly or unwillingly) without permission from the care and custody of a parent or legal guardian by:
    • someone unrelated and more than three years older,
      or
    • another parent or legal guardian who attempted or committed murder at the time of the abduction?
  • Is this child in immediate danger of sexual assault, death or serious bodily injury?
  • Has a preliminary investigation verified the abduction and eliminated alternative explanations for the child's disappearance?
  • Is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public to help locate the child, a suspect, or the vehicle used in the abduction?