TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida has multiple color alerts for different emergencies in the state. We already have AMBER alerts for missing or kidnapped children, Silver alerts for endangered seniors, and Blue alerts, when officers are injured in the line of duty and the suspect escapes.
Last year, a new system, Purple Alerts, was signed into law. A year since taking effect, the system will go active on July 1. So what does a Purple Alert do?
- A mental or cognitive disability that is not Alzheimer’s or Dementia
- An intellectual or developmental disability
- A brain injury
- Another physical, mental, or emotional disability not related to substance abuse
Purple Alerts can also be issued for adults who meet multiple of the above criteria, when their disappearance indicates a credible threat of immediate danger or serious bodily harm to himself or herself, as determined by local law enforcement.
Under the law passed last year, Purple Alerts are issued for those who cannot be returned to safety without law enforcement intervention, and who do not meet the criteria for activation of a local Silver Alert, or the Silver Alert Plan from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
When a Purple Alert is activated, local law enforcement must notify the media and alert subscribers in their jurisdiction, or the jurisdiction where the missing individual is believe to have gone or may be located. Local agencies can also request that the Purple Alert be broadcast on lottery terminals within the geographic regions they may have gone.
A Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse case may also be opened with the FDLE. To enhance local or regional efforts if an investigation includes an identifiable vehicle, the clearinghouse must work with the Florida Department of Transportation to activate dynamic message signs on highways and distribute critical information to the public for the alert.
Floridians can sign up online to receive Purple Alerts by text message or email. Starting July 1, the Purple Alert Plan will be active.