Amber alert system created — department to develop system regions — false report, penalty. — 1. There is hereby created a statewide program called the “Amber Alert System” referred to in this section as the “system” to aid in the identification and location of an abducted child.
2. For the purposes of this section, “abducted child” means a child whose whereabouts are unknown and who is:
(1) Less than eighteen years of age and reasonably believed to be the victim of the crime of kidnapping or kidnapping in the first degree as defined by section 565.110 as determined by local law enforcement;
(2) Reasonably believed to be the victim of the crime of child kidnapping as defined by section 565.115 as determined by local law enforcement; or
(3) Less than eighteen years of age and at least fourteen years of age and who, if under the age of fourteen, would otherwise be reasonably believed to be a victim of child kidnapping as defined by section 565.115 as determined by local law enforcement.
3. The department of public safety shall develop regions to provide the system. The department of public safety shall coordinate local law enforcement agencies and public commercial television and radio broadcasters to provide an effective system. In the event that a local law enforcement agency opts not to set up a system and an abduction occurs within the jurisdiction, it shall notify the department of public safety who will notify local media in the region.
4. The Amber alert system shall include all state agencies capable of providing urgent and timely information to the public together with broadcasters and other private entities that volunteer to participate in the dissemination of urgent public information. At a minimum, the Amber alert system shall include the department of public safety, highway patrol, department of transportation, department of health and senior services, and Missouri lottery.
5. The department of public safety shall have the authority to notify other regions upon verification that the criteria established by the oversight committee has been met.
6. Participation in an Amber alert system is entirely at the option of local law enforcement agencies and federally licensed radio and television broadcasters.
7. Any person who knowingly makes a false report that triggers an alert pursuant to this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
(L. 2003 H.B. 185 merged with S.B. 30, A.L. 2007 S.B. 84, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)