TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There are many color-coded alerts in Florida – Amber, Silver, Blue, and now Purple.
The latest color-coded alert, which came into effect on Friday, is aimed specifically at adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities without dementia.
What do you want to know
- Florida’s purple alert went into effect Friday
- This is an alert for missing adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities
- People must register here
For Lt. Paul Bloom, Florida’s purple alert is long overdue.
“There was a part of our society that was overlooked by these alerts,” he said. “They didn’t fall into the Amber and Silver Alert category, but we have yet to find them.”
With decades of law enforcement experience, he’s no stranger to Amber Alerts, and Marion County has had its fair share of Silver Alerts as well. But Bloom said the purple alert was for people who had previously fallen through the cracks but still had mental disabilities that put them at risk.
“You are still a risk to yourself and it is very dangerous for you to be left alone with this medical condition,” he said. “So we want to find you. The public wants to find you.”
For the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Endangered Persons and Missing Offenders Registry, this new alert is a major victory.
“This is another tool that law enforcement will have at their disposal to try and safely recover any missing person who meets these criteria,” FDLE spokesman Chad Brown said.
But the new tool is different from Amber and Silver alerts. To get started, people will need to subscribe to receive purple alerts and they don’t need any vehicle information.
“You can get a description of the individual whether they went on a bike or on foot,” Brown said. “It is therefore important that the public pay attention to the description of the person. Hopefully if they see this person they will contact law enforcement.”
But officials say the critical aspect of any alert is for the public to watch out for them.
Violet Alert is for adults who are lost and mentally challenged. However, this does not include dementia-related illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Spectrum News contacted the Alzheimer’s Association and the group issued the following statement:
“People with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia who are missing are still the responsibility of Silver Alert in Florida. The stress experienced by families and caregivers when someone with dementia wanders and gets lost is important Have a plan in place ahead of time, so you know what to do in case of an emergency The Alzheimer’s Association encourages families of a missing loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to first contact their local police department or sheriff’s office, then call 1-888-FL MISSING (356-4774) to initiate a Silver Alert. Learn more at alz.org.