TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator James Beach and Senator Fred H. Madden Jr. 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 full Senate.
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.
“Having an alert system in place that can quickly and efficiently disseminate information is essential to aiding law enforcement,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “The MVP Emergency Alert System is a critical first step in locating missing persons with disabilities and returning them to their families and loved ones.”
“Ensuring that our most vulnerable residents are located and returned safely to their families is imperative,” said Senator Madden (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This tool is a sensible public safety measure that would allow residents to become pro-active in helping law enforcement as they do when informed of a missing person through our state’s Amber and Silver Alert Systems.”
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 Senate approved it by a vote of 39-0. It now heads to the Assembly for further consideration.