By Todd R. Hansen
Two alert categories were added to the notification system that is best known for the Amber Alert initiated when a child is believed to have been abducted.
The system allows law enforcement agencies to initiate public alerts in hopes the citizenry can assist in locating the subject of the notification.
There is also a Blue Alert, used when a law enforcement official has been killed or injured, and a Silver Alert, which notifies the public about a missing senior citizen, usually with some kind of mental or physical disability.
Now a “Yellow alert” and a “Feather Alert” are being added come the new year, the California Highway Patrol reported.
“The new ‘Feather Alert’ allows law enforcement agencies to request the CHP to initiate an alert when an indigenous person has been kidnapped, abducted or reported missing under unexplained or suspicious
circumstances, and specific criteria have been met to permit alert activation,” the CHP report states.
“Additionally, consistent with the department’s existing Amber, Blue and Silver Alert programs, this new ‘Feather Alert’ program encourages the use of radio, television and social media to spread the information about the missing indigenous person.”
The new alert is the result of Assembly Bill 1314, authored by Assemblyman James Ramos, D-Highland, and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 23. Ramos was born on the San Manuel Indian Reservation in San Bernardino County.
The “Yellow Alert,” authored by Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 19, can be initiated “when a fatal hit-and-run crash has occurred, and specific criteria have been met to permit alert activation. The law also encourages local media outlets to disseminate the information contained in a Yellow Alert,” the CHP reports.