NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8492
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the creation of a
"purple alert system" for missing victims of domestic violence
This bill creates a purple alert system to notify the public of missing
victims of domestic violence by unifying the resources of the Division
of Criminal Services, Department of Transportation, appropriate state
agencies to inform the public along with private or governmental enti-
ties who participate in the dissemination of urgent public information.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
(a) The purple alert system shall include all state agencies capable
of providing urgent and timely information to the public, together with
broadcasters, private commercial entities and state or local govern-
mental entities who volunteer to participate in the dissemination of
urgent public information.
(b) Such alert system shall include, but shall not be limited to, the
division, the New York lottery and the department of transportation,
which shall establish a plan for providing information to the public
through an existing system of dynamic message signs located across the
A law enforcement agency shall notify the division if the agency
receives a report regarding a missing victim of domestic violence who is
determined by the agency to be a participant in the purple alert system.
In most missing persons cases, the first 48 hours are the most crucial.
Missing victims of domestic violence are innately more at risk of not
being successfully reunited with their loved ones. According to New
York States' Amber Alert statistics, in nearly 7 in every 10 AMBER Alert
cases, children are successfully reunited with their parents. And in
just over 17 percent of cases, the recovery is a direct result of the
A Purple Alert system is designed to provide much needed emergency
awareness to missing victims of domestic violence once confirmed by
appropriate parties that such individuals may be in danger. This Alert
system would also take into account any identity protection measures on
behalf of the victim and work to make sure the public is alerted without
placing protected identities at risk.
To be determined.
This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have
become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
November 17, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. ANDERSON -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Governmental Operations
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the creation of a
"purple alert system" for missing victims of domestic violence
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 837-w
2 to read as follows:
3 § 837-w. Purple alert system; missing victims of domestic violence. 1.
4 With the cooperation of the department of transportation, the office of
5 the governor, and other appropriate law enforcement agencies in the
6 state, the division shall develop and implement a statewide purple alert
7 system to be activated on behalf of a missing victim of domestic
8 violence, as defined in subdivision one of section four hundred fifty-
9 nine-a of the social services law, who has elected to participate in the
10 purple alert system.
11 2. The commissioner shall designate a statewide coordinator of the
12 purple alert system. The commissioner shall adopt rules and issue direc-
13 tives as necessary to ensure proper implementation of the purple alert
14 system. The rules and directives shall include:
15 (a) the procedures to be used by a law enforcement agency to verify
16 whether a victim of domestic violence is missing;
17 (b) a description of the circumstances under which a law enforcement
18 agency is required to report a missing victim of domestic violence to
19 the division;
20 (c) the procedures to be used by an individual or entity to report
21 information about a missing victim of domestic violence to designated
22 media outlets in the state;
23 (d) guidelines for releasing only the information necessary in order
24 to protect the privacy of a missing victim of domestic violence for whom
25 a purple alert has been issued, including compliance with the Health
26 Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996;
27 (e) forms for use by law enforcement agencies in requesting activation
28 of the purple alert system; and
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 8492 2
1 (f) a determination as to how an individual shall elect to participate
2 in such alert system.
3 3. (a) The purple alert system shall include all state agencies capa-
4 ble of providing urgent and timely information to the public, together
5 with broadcasters, private commercial entities and state or local
6 governmental entities who volunteer to participate in the dissemination
7 of urgent public information.
8 (b) Such alert system shall include, but shall not be limited to, the
9 division, the New York lottery and the department of transportation,
10 which shall establish a plan for providing information to the public
11 through an existing system of dynamic message signs located across the
13 4. A law enforcement agency shall notify the division if the agency
14 receives a report regarding a missing victim of domestic violence who is
15 determined by the agency to be a participant in the purple alert system.
16 5. (a) When a law enforcement agency notifies the division, the divi-
17 sion shall confirm the accuracy of the information and, if confirmed,
18 immediately issue an alert under this section in accordance with divi-
19 sion rules.
20 (b) In issuing the alert, the division shall send the alert to media
21 outlets in the state, in accordance with subdivision three of this
22 section. Following receipt of the alert, participating media outlets may
23 issue the alert at designated intervals to assist in locating the miss-
24 ing victim of domestic violence.
25 (c) Upon activation of the purple alert system, the division may
26 request interstate activation in a neighboring state or Canadian prov-
27 ince if warranted. If an activation area is adjacent to a border, the
28 United States Customs and Border Patrol and Canadian Customs shall also
29 receive notification.
30 (d) The alert must include:
31 (i) all appropriate information that is provided by the law enforce-
32 ment agency under this section and that may lead to the safe recovery of
33 the missing victim of domestic violence; and
34 (ii) a statement instructing any person with information related to
35 the missing victim of domestic violence to contact the applicable law
36 enforcement agency.
37 (e) The commissioner shall terminate any activation of the alert with
38 respect to a particular missing victim of domestic violence not later
39 than the earlier of the date on which:
40 (i) the missing victim of domestic violence is located, or the situ-
41 ation is otherwise resolved; or
42 (ii) the notification period ends, as determined by the division's
44 (f) A law enforcement agency that locates a missing victim of domestic
45 violence who is the subject of an alert under this section shall notify
46 the division as soon as possible that the missing victim of domestic
47 violence has been located.
48 6. The department of transportation is not required to use any exist-
49 ing system of dynamic message signs in a statewide alert system created
50 under this section if the department of transportation receives notice
51 from the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway
52 Administration that the use of the signs would result in the loss of
53 federal highway funding or other punitive actions taken against the
54 state due to noncompliance with federal laws, regulations, or policies.
55 § 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
56 have become a law.