TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator James Beach that would establish an alert system that can provide rapid dissemination of information about a missing person who is vulnerable was approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
The bill, S-2668, would require the Attorney General to establish an “MVP Emergency Alert System,” which would provide practices and protocols informing the public of a missing person who is “vulnerable,” defined as an individual with mental, intellectual, or developmental disabilities. The program would be a voluntary, cooperative effort between State and local law enforcement agencies and the media.
“Individuals with disabilities may have unique challenges that could put them at greater risk in certain circumstances. Creating an alert system that would assist individuals with disabilities and their families is a sensible plan,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington, Camden). “This bill would lend a helping hand to law enforcement, speeding the investigation and research process and ultimately bringing residents safely to their homes.”
The “MVP Emergency Alert System” is based on the State’s Amber and Silver Alert systems that disseminate information on missing children and seniors, respectively. According to the Alzheimer Foundation of America (AFA), several nearby states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware have implemented similar alert plans.
The Committee approved it by a vote of 7-0. It is now pending for consideration by the Senate.