11-04-2008, 09:22 AM
Please post here any current laws/alerts in place relating to the Missing/UID.
01-10-2009, 10:38 PM
Missing Persons Clearinghouse
The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice.
In March 2008, the department implemented a searchable online database that, for the first time, is updated in real time and includes any photos provided by law enforcement. It is our hope that having up-to-date information available to teachers and community members throughout the state will increase the likelihood that someone will identify a missing person and contact the Clearinghouse or law enforcement.
The Missing Persons Clearinghouse:
• assists law enforcement agencies in entering the necessary information into state and national databases, and in identifying missing and unidentified persons
• provides general assistance and information to the public concerning missing persons in Montana
• works closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other state clearinghouses to aid in locating children who have been unlawfully taken out of Montana or brought into Montana
• maintains an online database of missing persons in Montana to ensure that elementary and secondary schools throughout the state are aware of school-age children who are missing
Montana AMBER Alert Criteria
To initiate an AMBER Alert, call 9-1-1 and provide your local law enforcement agency with all the information you can about a suspected child abduction. To activate the program, all of the following criteria must be met:
• There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that a child has been abducted or has disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
• The missing child is age 17 years or younger, or has a proven mental or physical disability.
• The law enforcement agency believes the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
• There is enough descriptive information about the victim and abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
• The child's name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer.
The AMBER Alert system is not used to track runaways, missing children or children involved in custody disputes. The program is restricted to child abduction cases that could be life threatening.
Missing and Endangered Person Advisory (MEPA)
The Missing and Endangered Person Advisory, or MEPA, is a modified alert program designed to provide Montana law enforcement agencies another option to respond to the types of missing person cases they typically deal with. This may include tracking runaways, missing children, children involved in custody disputes and missing adults. MEPA can be used in situations that do not meet AMBER Alert criteria, but do meet the MEPA criteria outlined below. While the AMBER Alert program is specifically restricted to child abduction cases in which the child's life may be in danger, MEPA was designed to assist law enforcement agencies in the range of situations that do not fall within the AMBER Alert criteria.
A MEPA Advisory is initiated solely by Montana law enforcement agencies using the following criteria:
1. Do the circumstances fail to meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert? (If they do meet the criteria, immediately follow the AMBER Alert protocol.)
2. Is the person missing under unexplained, involuntary or suspicious circumstances?
3. Is the person believed to be in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, or environmental or weather conditions; to be in the company of a potentially dangerous person; or is there some other factor that may put the person in peril?
4. Is there information that could assist the public in the safe recovery of the missing person? The initial advisory will include any available information, like name, age, physical description, date of birth and where the person was last seen. It might also include information about whether the person has a health condition or physical or mental disability.
Missing Persons Forms & Other Documents
The Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003, otherwise known as the PROTECT Act, gives law-enforcement authorities valuable tools to deter, detect, investigate, prosecute, and punish crimes committed against children; strengthens laws against child pornography; and addresses deficiencies in federal sentencing policies and practices. Provisions that relate specifically to missing or abducted children include an increase in the base-offense level for kidnapping; a mandatory 20-year sentence for an offender whose kidnapping victim is a nonfamily-member minor; attempt liability for international parental kidnapping; Suzanne's Law, which requires each federal, state, and local law-enforcement agency to enter missing children younger than the age of 21 into the FBI's NCIC database; Amerinformation about mca's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert provisions calling for the national coordination of state and local AMBER Alert programs, including the appointment of a national AMBER Alert coordinator3 and the development of guidelines for the issuance and dissemination of AMBER Alerts; a Code ADAM program that requires designated authorities for public buildings to establish procedures for locating a child who is missing in the building;4 and making the statute of limitations for crimes involving the abduction of a child the life of the child.
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