Relating to missing persons; to amend Sections 26-19A-2 and 26-19A-4, Code of Alabama 1975, to provide for a missing senior citizen alert to be issued for persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia, regardless of age, and to provide guidelines for the issuance of the alert; and to require specialized training for law enforcement personnel who participate in searching for missing persons with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:Section 1. Sections 26-19A-2 and 26-19A-4, Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:
The Missing Senior Citizen Alert Act is enacted for the following purposes:
(1) To provide a rapid response to missing or lost senior citizens at risk of bodily harm or death or persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
(2) To gain the voluntary assistance of the broadcast media to help locate missing senior citizens.
"(a) A missing senior citizen alert shall be activated by the department when a
senior citizen is reported missing and an investigation reveals the following:
senior citizen is at risk of bodily harm or death, or suffers from Alzheimer's disease or dementia. An alert may be issued for a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia regardless of age.
"(2) There is enough descriptive information about the senior or person suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia to believe an immediate media alert would help investigators locate the person. For persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia, a statement from a caregiver that the missing person suffers from either disease shall be considered sufficient proof of the disease.
"(b) A report of a missing senior citizen or missing person suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia may be made to the department as soon as a concerned party or caregiver believes the person to be missing. Upon the submission of the report, a search in the missing person's local area may begin immediately, and the department may expand the search to include areas outside of the missing person's local area if needed.
"(c) The department and local law enforcement agencies shall require law enforcement officers
, 911 operators, and other emergency personnel to complete training for techniques in searching for a missing person with Alzheimer's disease or dementia first responder training for missing persons with Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia, if such training is available through the department, the Alabama Peace Officers' Standards and Training Commission, or the free training and certification program offered by the Alzheimer's Association. If a missing person report is made for a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia, the department and local law enforcement agencies shall utilize available personnel who have participated in this training to assist in conducting the search."
Section 2. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.