MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama has added a new type of missing persons alert. It’s called the Missing and Endangered Person Alert and replaces the Silver Alert, which was issued for missing seniors.
The new Missing and Endangered Person Alert is issued when a person is missing and the person is living with a mental disability, physical disability, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or autism and is in danger. It covers people 18 and older.
“In the past, we’ve had several cases to where we’ve had somebody in their mid 20s, who suffer from autism and law enforcement would call us and say we need an alert for this, but we really didn’t have one that would fit that criteria. So we would do the senior alert. And that was a little confusing to the public to see a senior alert for a 25-year-old with autism or some type of mental disability. This would cover that,” says Jay Moseley, director of Alabama’s Fusion Center.
The Alabama Fusion Center, which is part of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, issues missing persons alerts. They say as soon as you realize a loved one is missing you should call police.
“There’s a big misconception that there’s a certain amount of time that has to go by before law enforcement will classify them as missing, and that’s not true. There is no set time that somebody has to be missing before the alert is issued. The best thing they can do is, if you think they’re missing, call law enforcement," Moseley said.
The Fusion Center says one of the most important things it needs when issuing an alert is a current photo.
Be sure to have a current photo of your children, parents and grandparents on your phone.