An act relating to missing persons; amending s. 937.0201, F.S.; revising the definition of the term “missing adult”; defining the term “at-risk veteran”; amending s. 937.021, F.S.; providing that the Department of Law Enforcement, as the state Camo Alert coordinator, and certain agencies, employees, individuals, and entities are immune from civil liability for damages for performing certain actions in good faith; providing that the presumption of good faith is not overcome under certain circumstances, and provides penalty as a first degree misdemeanor for intentional false Camo Alert reports; providing construction; amending s. 937.022, F.S.; authorizing only the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over a case to make a request to the clearinghouse for the activation of a state Camo Alert involving a missing adult under certain circumstances, and establishes the Camo Alert Voluntary Registry; amending s. 937.023, F.S.; providing that the term “missing Florida school child” does not include an at risk veteran; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Subsections (1) through (5) of section 937.0201, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (2) through (6), respectively, present subsection (2) of that section is amended, and a new subsection (1) is added to that section, to read:
937.0201 Definitions. — As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “At-risk veteran” means veteran of or
an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces, the National Guard, or
the United States Reserve Forces, regardless of age, who is known to suffer
from a mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a
traumatic brain injury, or for other cause has concern for his or her own mental
stability, and his or her disappearance poses a credible threat to
his or her own health and safety or the health and safety of another
., and is listed as an
at-risk veteran in the Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse
Camo Alert Voluntary Registry.
(2) “Missing adult” means a person 18
years of age or older whose temporary or permanent residence is in, or is
believed to be in, this state, whose location has not been determined, and who
has been reported as missing to a law enforcement agency. The term includes an at-risk veteran.
Section 2. Paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of subsection (5) of section 937.021, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 937.021 Missing child and missing adult reports.—
(c) Upon receiving a request to record, report, transmit, display, or release Silver Alert or Camo Alert information from the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the missing adult, the Department of Law Enforcement as the state Silver Alert or state Camo Alert coordinator, any state or local law enforcement agency, and the personnel of these agencies; any radio or television network, broadcaster, or other media representative; any dealer of communications services as defined in s. 202.11; or any agency, employee, individual, or entity is immune from civil liability for damages for complying in good faith with the request and is presumed to have acted in good faith in recording, reporting, transmitting, displaying, or releasing Silver Alert or Camo Alert information pertaining to the missing adult.
(d) The presumption of good
faith is not overcome if a technical or clerical error is made by any agency,
employee, individual, or entity acting at the request of the local law
enforcement agency having jurisdiction, or if the Amber Alert, Missing Child Alert,
information, missing adult information, or Silver
Alert, or Camo Alert information is incomplete or incorrect because the
information received from the local law enforcement agency was incomplete or
(e) Neither this subsection nor any other provision of law
creates a duty of the agency, employee, individual, or entity to record,
report, transmit, display, or release the Amber Alert, Missing Child Alert,
information, missing adult information, or
Silver Alert, or Camo Alert information received from the local law
enforcement agency having jurisdiction. The decision to record, report,
transmit, display, or release information is discretionary with the agency,
employee, individual, or entity receiving the information.
(f) Any intentional false reports of Camo Alerts shall be punishable as a first degree misdemeanor.
Section 3. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section 937.022, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
937.022 Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse.—
(3) The clearinghouse shall:
(b) Provide a centralized file for the exchange of information on missing endangered persons.
(c) Establish and maintain the “Camo Alert Voluntary Registry”, a voluntary registration system to manage the voluntary registration of at-risk veterans by a veteran or his or her legal guardian. Only those veterans who have voluntarily requested to participate in the Camo Alert system, shall be included in the Camo Alert Voluntary Registry. The names and other identifying information contained in the Camo Alert Voluntary Registry shall not be subject to Florida Sunshine laws, and such information shall not be released. The system shall also provide for the removal and expungement of an at-risk veteran’s registration and information from the registry upon written request from the veteran or his or her legal guardian, within thirty (30) days of the Clearinghouse receiving the written request.
1. Every state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency shall submit to the clearinghouse information concerning missing endangered persons.
2. Any person having knowledge may submit a missing endangered person report to the clearinghouse concerning a child or adult younger than 26 years of age whose whereabouts is unknown, regardless of the circumstances, subsequent to reporting such child or adult missing to the appropriate law enforcement agency within the county in which the child or adult became missing, and subsequent to entry by the law enforcement agency of the child or person into the Florida Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center databases. The missing endangered person report shall be included in the clearinghouse database.
3. Only the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case may submit a missing endangered person report to the clearinghouse involving a missing adult age 26 years or older who is suspected by a law enforcement agency of being endangered or the victim of criminal activity.
4. Only the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case may make a request to the clearinghouse for the activation of a state Silver Alert or state Camo Alert involving a missing adult if circumstances regarding the disappearance have met the criteria for activation of the Silver Alert Plan or the Camo Alert Plan.
5. The Missing and Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse shall only authorize the issuance of a Camo Alert for those at-risk veterans that are listed in the Camo Alert Voluntary Registry.
Section 4. Subsection (1) of section 937.023, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
937.023 Department of Education to compile list of missing Florida school children; forms; notification.—
(1) The Department of Education shall provide by rule for a program to identify and locate missing Florida school children who are enrolled in Florida public school districts in kindergarten through grade 12. A “missing Florida school child” is defined for the purposes of this section as a child 18 years of age or younger whose whereabouts are unknown. The term does not include an at-risk veteran as defined in s. 937.0201. Pursuant to such program, the department shall:
(a) Collect each month a list of missing Florida school children as provided by the Florida Crime Information Center. The list shall be designed to include such information as the department deems necessary for the identification of the missing school child.
(b) Compile from the information collected pursuant to paragraph (a) a list of missing Florida school children, which list shall be distributed monthly to all public school districts admitting children to kindergarten through grade 12. The list shall include the names of all such missing children, together with such other information as the department deems necessary. Each school district shall distribute this information to the public schools in the district by whatever manner it deems appropriate.
(c) Notify the appropriate local, state, or federal law enforcement authority as soon as any additional information is obtained or contact is made with respect to a missing Florida school child.
Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.