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What is a purple alert?

On July 1, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement officially launched the new statewide alert.
Credit: fizkes - stock.adobe.com

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Many of you might be wondering "what in the world is a purple alert?" Well, we here at 10 Tampa Bay have an answer for you. 

The new statewide alert will be used to "assist in the location of missing adults suffering from mental, cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities," state leaders explained in a news release.

On July 1, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement officially launched the statewide alert.

“In all missing persons situations, getting the word out – and getting it out quickly – is key to a swift and safe recovery,” said FDLE Acting Commissioner Mark Glass. “Florida’s Purple Alert plan ensures a prompt and comprehensive response while ensuring the privacy and dignity of our disabled citizens.”

The Purple Alert Plan was originally established by the Florida Legislature and eventually signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The specific criteria for a Purple Alert to be issued include:

  • The person is 18 or older and does not qualify for a state- or local-level Silver Alert.
  • The person has an intellectual or developmental disability, brain injury or another physical, mental or emotional disability that is not related to substance abuse and does not have Alzheimer’s disease or a dementia-related disorder.
  • The local law enforcement agency’s investigation concluded the disappearance poses a credible threat of immediate danger or serious bodily harm to the missing person and they can only be returned to safety through law enforcement intervention.
  • There is a detailed description of the missing person suitable for distribution.
  • The missing person information has been entered into Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC).
  • The law enforcement agency of jurisdiction recommends activation.

Anyone who has signed up to receive the alerts will have the Purple Alert information sent to them. The alerts will also be displayed occasionally on highway message signs and always on the FDLE public website.


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