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 Senate Budget and Appropriations 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.
“Locating missing persons with mental, intellectual or developmental disabilities presents unique challenges to law enforcement,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “This alert system is a critical first step towards assisting law enforcement in their investigation and research process and will provide a tool to help bring residents safely back to their families and loved ones.”
“Establishing a MVP Emergency Alert System will help protect some of the most vulnerable residents in our state,” said Senator Madden (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This tool will provide for the rapid dissemination of information in the event a person with a disability is missing, which will help to improve our prospects of locating the individual more quickly. This is a sensible public safety measure that will allow our residents to assist law enforcement as they do when notified of a missing person through the 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 Committee approved it by a vote of 13-0. It is now pending consideration by the Senate.