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Governing Legislation

Plan Components

Advisory Board


Law Enforcement User's Guide

Virginia's Amber Alert System -- Abducted Children

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Plan Components:

  • COMLabs  Emergency Network System (EMNet)

EMNet is computer based system that uses the infrastructure of the Virginia  Emergency Alert System (EAS) to inform the public of immediate threats to national security, life and property by way of the broadcast stations.  EMNet utilizes the infrastructure to notify public radio/television and broadcast system to share information between public safety agencies and the media; who, in turn, transmit information to the public.

  • Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN)

VCIN is a telecommunication system which provides 24-hour access to Virginia law enforcement agencies to enter and query information regarding any missing person.

  • Lost Child Alert Technology Resource (LOCATOR) System

LOCATOR is a software based system that creates posters of missing children for local, statewide, and national distribution and can be used for creating posters for missing senior adults.  LOCATOR contains templates for law enforcement agencies to publicize the information to those in the notification lists, During an abduction and when a “Senior Alert is authorized, the Virginia Missing Children Information Clearinghouse (VMPC)  can create posters for the “Senior Alert”. VMPC is the only Virginia agency that can create a LOCATOR poster with the “Senior Alert” banner.

  • Virginia Missing Person Information Clearinghouse (VMPC)

The Clearinghouse operated by the Department of State Police has the primary responsibility for the Virginia “Senior Alert” Plan. VMPC can provide services to activate the Virginia Senior Alert Plan and has the ability to scan photographs and enter information regarding a lost senior adult on to the Virginia State Police Senior Alert website,

Secondary Components of the Virginia “Senior Alert” System

  • A Child Is Missing Program (ACIM)

The ACIM program is a non-profit organization that enables law enforcement agencies to create a recorded audio message and publicized by telephone communications. The free service can be used by any law enforcement agency with an executed agreement. The Virginia Missing Person Information Clearinghouse has an agreement with ACIM for using the service. When appropriate during a Senior Alert, the VMPC can contact the organization, identifying affected areas by five zip codes. ACIM will automatically call 1000 telephones numbers in sixty seconds and announce the pre-recorded message regarding the missing senior adult.

  • Public Utilities’ Communication Systems

Notification of the major public utilities within the Commonwealth which have communication systems capable of notifying their field employees when the Virginia “Senior Alert” Plan is activated.  These utilities include electric companies, gas companies, cable companies, etc and will be used in only in extreme emergencies.

Criteria for the Activation of the Plan

  1. The missing senior adult whereabouts are unknown, is over 60 years of age and;
  2. Suffers a cognitive impairment to the extent that he or she is unable to provide care for their self without assistance from a caregiver, including a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, and;
  3. Whose disappearance poses a credible threat as determined by a law-enforcement agency to the health and safety of the adult and under such other circumstances as deemed appropriate by the Virginia State Police.
  4. A law enforcement investigation has taken place that verified the senior adult is missing and eliminated alternative explanations by a thorough search of the immediate area if vehicular travel is not involved as a mode of travel for the adult.
  5. Sufficient information regarding the missing senior adult is available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the missing senior adult or their vehicle. 
  6. The missing senior adult must be entered into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) missing person files and information reported to the Virginia Missing Person Information Clearinghouse in the prescribed format.
  7. A photograph of the missing senior adult must be provided to the Virginia Missing Person Information Clearinghouse on the prescribed forms or agency equivalent.

If all of the aforementioned criteria are not met, the Virginia “Senior Alert” Plan will not be activated however information can still be provided to the media.

E-mail comments, suggestions and questions to Virginia's Senior Alert System