BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A new color has been added to the emergency alert list here in Florida.
Purple Alerts now join AMBER, Silver, and Blue alerts as a means of notifying the public that law enforcement is searching for someone in danger.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Purple Alerts are for adults suffering from mental or developmental disabilities, a brain injury, or other emotional disabilities not related to substance abuse.
“Somebody that their life could be in danger because they are out. They don’t know how to take care of themselves, cognitive disorders, suicidal,” Bay County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Director Lt. Andy Husar said.
Purple Alerts differ from Silver Alerts because Silver Alerts are solely for missing Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
The steps law enforcement takes to find them are also a little different.
“Silver Alerts, we would notify FDLE, FDLE would enter them into the nationwide database, notify DOT. The new Purple Alert mandates that we contact our local media partners so besides calling FDLE, we’re also going to be calling the local news media, it’ll be going out on social media getting the message out a lot quicker,” Husar said.
Husar said getting the word out as soon as possible increases the likelihood of someone being found.
He said he is glad to see the state taking extra steps to protect the vulnerable population.
If you encounter the missing person you should immediately call 911 or *FHP (347) and make note of the person’s whereabouts.