What does a purple alert mean? | The Sun

PUBLIC notification systems are crucial to finding missing persons in a specific area.

On July 1, 2022, the state of Florida authorized the use of Purple Alerts in hopes of protecting adults with developmental disabilities.

What does a purple alert mean?

Purple Alerts are sent out when an adult suffering from mental, cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities is missing.

The alert is not related to substance abuse or Alzheimer’s or dementia-related disorder, otherwise, it would be categorized as a Silver Alert.

Purple Alerts went into effect in Florida on July 1 and notifications are posted on media sites, road signs, and other communication platforms.

Law enforcement must assume the subject of an alert is in danger of bodily harm and needs to be found and returned home.

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Why was the purple alert created?

Purple Alerts were created after a Florida family faced the death of their son, Joshua Marshall, in 2018.

The 30-year-old had a cognitive disability, was nonverbal, and walked with a lopsided gait, as described by Fox35 Orlando.

He went missing in the middle of the night after he moved to Port St Lucie with his father and his body was later found in a pond outside a fire station.

"He wandered around the streets, ended up at a 7-Eleven… The store clerk seen him. Other people saw him. Nobody helped," Marshall's mother told the outlet.

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"He was distraught. He was crying. He didn't have any shoes on his feet. And he was just lost."

"So many times people could have interrupted and stepped up and said, 'hey, you know, this is the person that they're talking about on this alert.' But there was no alert.

Marshall's mother worked for three years with Florida Senator Lori Berman and Representative Joe Casello to create the Purple Alerts.

"It's a great legacy for him, because it does represent the kind of person that he was. You know, he was always helping. So if we could help in a way, you know, we're there," she said.

What other types of alerts are there?

Just like Purple Alerts, there are other public notification systems in the United States to broadcast information about missing persons:

Amber Alerts: child abduction emergency alert

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Blue Alerts: "aid in the identification, location and apprehension of any individuals suspected of killing or seriously wounding any police officer," according to the NY State Senate.

Silver Alerts: missing persons alert – especially senior citizens with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other mental disabilities

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