Senior Alerts Plan Components

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

EAS is the national civil emergency alert system designed to inform the public of immediate threats to national security, life and property. It is one component of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Employing warning tones, EAS broadcasts messages to the public over radio and television. It utilizes the public radio/television and broadcast system to share information between public safety agencies and the media, who, in turn, transmit emergency information to the public. The Department of State Police uses the Everbridge Public Warning platform to communicate Alert information notifications through EAS.

Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN)

VCIN is a telecommunication system which provides a means of rapid communications for criminal justice agencies throughout Virginia.

Lost Child Alert Technology Resource (LOCATOR) System

LOCATOR is a software system that creates missing persons posters for local, statewide, and national distribution. During an abduction or when a “Senior Alert” is authorized, the Virginia Missing Children Information Clearinghouse (VMPC) can use LOCATOR to generate posters to publicize the case. VMPC is the only Virginia agency that can create a LOCATOR poster with the “Senior Alert” banner.

Virginia Missing Person Information Clearinghouse (VMPC)

The VMPC, operated by the Department of State Police, is responsible for the Virginia “Senior Alert” Plan and serves as the central repository for information about missing adults in Virginia.

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 distribute it by telephone. This free service can be used by any law enforcement agency with an executed agreement. 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

The major public utilities within the Commonwealth 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.

Activation Criteria

Criteria for the Activation of the Senior Alert Plan

  1. The missing senior adult is over 60 years of age and his or her whereabouts are unknown.
  2. The missing senior adult suffers a cognitive impairment to the extent that the adult is unable to provide care for his or her self without assistance from a caregiver, including a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.
  3. The missing senior adult’s disappearance poses a credible threat as determined by a law enforcement agency to the health and safety of the adult, or 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.
  5. Sufficient information regarding the missing senior adult is available to disseminate to the public to 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.

Criteria for the Activation of the Ashanti (Critically Missing Adult) Alert Plan

  1. The abducted adult must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. The reporting law enforcement agency believes the adult has been abducted (unwillingly taken from their environment without permission).
  3. The reporting law enforcement agency believes the abducted adult is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.
  4. A law enforcement investigation has taken place that verified the abduction or eliminated alternative explanations.
  5. Sufficient information is available to disseminate to the public to assist in locating the abducted adult, the suspect, and/or the suspect’s vehicle.
  6. The abducted adult must be entered into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) missing person files.
  7. The Virginia Ashanti Alert Form authorizing release of information must be signed.

If all of the aforementioned criteria are not met, the “Virginia Ashanti (Critically Missing Adult) Alert” Plan will not be activated. However, information about the missing adult can still be provided to the media.

Criteria for the Activation of the Missing Person with Autism Alert Plan

  1. The missing person’s whereabouts are unknown and the person has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
  2. The missing person’s disappearance poses a credible threat as determined by law enforcement to the safety and health of the person and under such other circumstances as deemed appropriate by the Virginia State Police.
  3. A law enforcement investigation has taken place that verified the person is missing and eliminated alternative explanations by a thorough search of the immediate area if vehicular travel is not involved.
  4. Sufficient information regarding the missing person is available to disseminate to the public to assist in locating the missing person.
  5. The missing person must be entered into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) missing person / missing children files and information reported to the Virginia Missing Children’s Clearinghouse (VMCC) or the Virginia Missing Person’s Clearinghouse as relevant.

If all of the aforementioned criteria are not met, the Virginia “Missing Person with Autism Alert” Plan will not be activated. However, information can still be provided to the media.

Endangered Child Alert

The Endangered Child Alert is a component of the Virginia AMBER Alert.  For details about this alert and the Virginia AMBER Alert, please visit www.vaamberalert.com.