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FCC Considering New EAS Alert Code for Missing and Endangered Persons

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for a new Emergency Alert System (EAS) alert code, “MEP,” for missing and endangered adults.

It is unclear how Texas law enforcement and emergency managers might use such a new code.

There are public safety alerts authorized by the Texas Legislature which do not involve the use of EAS, such as the Silver Alert which covers missing elderly Texans with documented mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, or the Endangered Missing Persons alert which covers missing persons of any age with an intellectual disability.

The FCC said adding the MEP EAS alert code “would help law enforcement provide timely alerts to galvanize public attention to missing native and indigenous persons,” which federal authorities say is on the rise.

“Law enforcement agencies successfully use AMBER Alerts on TV and radio to help mobilize public attention and recover abducted children.  But we do not have a similar code in the Emergency Alert System dedicated to sounding the alarm over other missing and endangered persons, particularly the thousands of missing native and indigenous women who have disappeared from their homes never to be seen again,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.  

“I’m glad the FCC is taking necessary steps to establish an alert code for missing and endangered persons that will broadcast critical information that could save lives and prevent more harm to Native communities and Tribal Nations," said U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM.

“Violence against Native people is a crisis, and far too many families and communities have suffered as a result. The federal government must take more decisive action to properly notify their loved ones and locate these individuals to keep families together.” 

The draft MEP proposal is on the FCC’s March 14 meeting agenda for a vote.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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