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Here are the six different alerts Texas can issue for missing people

Law enforcement agencies can request a statewide alert when a missing person's report meets certain criteria.

TEXAS, USA — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story.

If you've been in the state of Texas and gotten an emergency alert notification on your phone, you may have noticed those alerts may come with a particular name. 

You may be most familiar with an AMBER Alert - issued for serious cases involving a child abduction - but here in Texas, you might also get a Blue Alert or a Silver Alert. 

In fact, when a person goes missing in the state of Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety can activate six different alerts to help safely locate the person at the center of the emergency.

In 2020 there were 49,110 reported missing adults and juveniles in Texas.

The alert programs, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, include the following:

  • AMBER Alert
  • Blue Alert
  • Camo Alert
  • CLEAR Alert
  • Endangered Missing Persons Alert
  • Silver Alert

Each alert has specific criteria that must be met in order to be activated, and they can only be activated at the request of a law enforcement agency. They are:

What is an AMBER Alert?

Governor Rick Perry signed the AMBER Alert - America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Alert - in memory of Amber Hagerman in 2002. Hagerman was 9 years old when she was kidnapped and killed in Arlington.

A law enforcement agency can request the AMBER Alert if it meets these criteria:

  • The child is 17 years or younger and law enforcement believes them to be in immediate danger.
  • The minor was taken without permission from a parent or legal guardian by someone unrelated and more than three years older.
  • A preliminary investigation verifies the abduction occurred and eliminates an alternative explanation for the child’s disappearance.
  • There is enough information available to distribute to the public to locate the child, suspect, or vehicle used.

What is a Blue Alert?

In 2008, the Blue Alert was created to help apprehend alleged violent criminals who kill or seriously injure a law enforcement officer.

The Blue Alert is activated when:

  • A law enforcement officer is killed or seriously injured by a suspect
  • The investigating law enforcement agency determines the offender is a risk or threat to the public and law enforcement personnel.
  • A detailed description of the suspect’s vehicle, vehicle tags, or partial tags are available.
  • The investigating law enforcement agency requests the activation of the alert.

What is a Camo Alert?

Created in 2019, a Camo Alert is for an individual who disappears and is current or former military with a documented mental illness.

A Camo Alert is issued when:

  • The missing military member is registered for the Camo Alert program.
  • The individual is confirmed to be a current or former member of the United States armed forces, or the National Guard, or a reserve or auxiliary unit of any branch of the armed forces.
  • The missing person suffers from a mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury.
  • DPS recommends a physician’s or psychologist's letterhead, indicating the impaired mental condition, date of diagnosis, patient's name, with the physician's signature.
  • The disappearance is a credible threat to the military member’s health and safety or the health and safety of others.

What is a CLEAR Alert?

The CLEAR Alert was established in 2019 to bridge the "gap between missing minors and senior citizens." The alert, which helps law enforcement find missing, kidnapped or abducted adults in immediate danger, was named "CLEAR" to honors victims of violence: Cayley Mandadi; D'Lisa Kelley; Erin Castro; Ashanti Billie and the Rest.

The criteria for this alert are:

  • The missing individual is between 18 to 64 years
  • A preliminary investigation confirms the adult is in imminent danger of bodily injury or death, or the disappearance is involuntary.
  • There is enough information to help locate the individual, a suspect, or the vehicle used in the incident.

What is an Endangered Missing Persons Alert?

A missing person of any age with an intellectual disability (autism, development disorders, etc.) may qualify for the Endangered Missing Persons alert, which was created in 2011 when Texas AMBER Alert legislation was updated.

Authorities can activate this alert if it meets these criteria:

  • The individual has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability and/or pervasive development disorder. This includes Asperger's syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, Childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome.
  • A written diagnosis from a physician or licensed psychologist in the state of Texas or the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services or Texas Department of Health Services is provided to law enforcement.
  • The disappearance poses a credible threat to the individual’s health and safety.
  • The request for an Endangered Missing Persons Alert was made within 72 hours of their disappearance.
  • There is enough information to help locate the individual.

What is a Silver Alert?

A Silver Alert, created in 2007, is designated for adults over 65 years of age who have been diagnosed with a mental condition, including Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia.

A missing individual may qualify if they meet these criteria:

  • The individual is 65 years or older
  • The senior citizen has a diagnosed impaired mental condition and poses a credible threat to their own health and safety.
  • The family or legal guardian of the missing individual must provide documentation of their medical or mental health condition.
  • The investigation has confirmed the individual’s disappearance is due to their impaired mental condition.
  • The Silver Alert was requested within 72 hours of the senior citizen’s disappearance.
  • There is enough information to help locate the individual.