STATEHOUSE (Feb. 6, 2018) — The House of Representative Monday unanimously passed State Rep. Sharon Negele’s (R-Attica) bill that would expand Silver Alerts to include missing children with disabilities.
Silver Alerts are issued by law enforcement and voluntarily broadcast by TV and radio stations when a disabled adult has wandered from their caregiver and is unlikely to return home without assistance. Negele’s legislation would expand this alert to include missing children with mental or physical disabilities.
“Our emergency alert system does not currently cover children with disabilities who have wandered from their home,” Negele said. “These children need the same protections as adults with disabilities in the event they go missing, so the public is alerted they will likely need assistance in getting home safely. This measure would assist in recovering these children more quickly.”
Indiana’s current emergency alert system for abducted children, also known as an Amber Alert, does not apply to children who leave their home, school or care facility at their own free will. Negele said her bill would ensure children with disabilities who do wander are included under the more appropriate Silver Alert.
According to Negele, Silver Alerts in Indiana helped locate 88 percent of those missing persons from 2013 through 2017.
House Bill 1248 can now be considered by the Senate. To learn more, visit iga.in.gov.
State Rep. Sharon Negele represent House District 13, which includes all of Benton County, and portions
of Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties.
A high-resolution photo of Negele can be found here.