Amber, Blue, Silver and Purple? Here’s what these public safety alerts mean

A bill working its way through the Mississippi Legislature would establish a Purple Alert system in the state. Mississippi would be the second state to establish such an alert, following Florida. Here is a look at what a Purple Alert is, and what other alerts are active across the Southeast.

Purple Alert

Purple Alert (Florida): The Florida Purple Alert is used to assist in the location of missing adults suffering from a mental or cognitive disability that is not Alzheimer’s disease or a dementia-related disorder; an intellectual disability or a developmental disability; a brain injury; other physical, mental or emotional disabilities that are not related to substance abuse; or a combination of any of these and whose disappearance poses a credible threat of immediate danger or seriously bodily harm. Purple Alerts engage the public in the search for the missing person and provide a standardized and coordinated community response.

Mississippi alerts

Amber Alert: Mississippi issues an Amber alert when there is a suspected child abduction. For an alert to be issued, the following criteria must be met:

  • The child must be age 17 or younger, or a vulnerable adult

  • There must be a threat of imminent danger

  • There must be credible descriptions of the abductor, the child taken and the escape vehicle

Endangered / Missing Child Alert: This alert may be issued for any missing child when the criteria for an Amber Alert can not be met.

Blue Alert: This alert is issued regarding any incident involving the injury or death of a law enforcement officer where the suspect is still at large.

Silver Alert: This alert is issued in an effort to help spread the message about a missing person, 18 years or older, with dementia or other cognitive impairment, in hopes of locating the person as quickly as possible.

Mississippi offers three types of public safety alerts: Amber, Blue and Silver. Mississippi Department of Public Safety
Mississippi offers three types of public safety alerts: Amber, Blue and Silver. Mississippi Department of Public Safety

Other states in the region

Camo Alert (Texas): Texas’ Camo Alert is designed to notify the public of a missing current or former member of the United States armed forces, including the National Guard or a reserve or auxiliary unit of any branch of the armed forces

CLEAR Alert (Texas): Texas’ Coordinated Law Enforcement Adult Rescue (CLEAR) Alert program, created by 2019 Texas legislation, is designed to close the gap between missing children and senior citizens. The CLEAR alert assists law enforcement in locating and rescuing missing, kidnapped or abducted adults or adults who are in immediate danger of injury or death, as well as aid in locating any potential suspects.