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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 837-F-1
Missing vulnerable adults clearinghouse
Executive (EXC) CHAPTER 18, ARTICLE 35
§ 837-f-1. Missing vulnerable adults clearinghouse. There is hereby
established within the division a missing vulnerable adults
clearinghouse to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the
problem of missing vulnerable adults.

1. For purposes of this section:

(a) "Vulnerable adult" shall mean an individual eighteen years of age
or older who has a cognitive impairment, mental disability, or brain
disorder and whose disappearance has been determined by law enforcement
to pose a creditable threat of harm to such missing individual.

(b) "Missing vulnerable adult alert" shall mean a method to
disseminate information regarding a missing vulnerable adult to the
general public in a manner consistent with paragraph (n) of subdivision
two of this section.

2. The commissioner shall be authorized to:

(a) plan and implement programs to ensure the most effective use of
federal, state, and local resources in the investigation of missing
vulnerable adults;

(b) disseminate a directory of resources to assist in locating missing
vulnerable adults;

(c) cooperate with the department of health, office of mental health,
office for people with developmental disabilities, office for the aging,
and other public and private organizations to develop education and
prevention programs concerning the safety of vulnerable adults;

(d) assist federal, state, and local agencies in the investigation of
cases involving missing vulnerable adults;

(e) utilize available resources to duplicate photographs and posters
of vulnerable adults reported as missing by police and disseminate this
information throughout the state;

(f) provide assistance in returning missing vulnerable adults who are
located out of state;

(g) develop a curriculum for the training of law enforcement personnel
investigating cases involving missing vulnerable adults, including
recognition and management of vulnerable adults;

(h) operate a toll-free twenty-four hour hotline for the public to use
to relay information concerning missing vulnerable adults;

(i) establish a case database that shall include non-identifying
information on reported missing vulnerable adults and facts developed in
the phases of a search; and analyze such data for the purposes of
assisting law enforcement in their current investigations of missing
vulnerable adults, developing prevention programs and increasing
understanding of the nature and extent of the problem;

(j) prescribe general guidelines to enable state agencies to assist in
the location and recovery of missing vulnerable adults. The guidelines
shall provide information relating to:

(i) the form and manner in which materials and information pertaining
to missing vulnerable adults, including, but not limited to,
biographical data and pictures, sketches, or other likenesses, may be
included in stationary, newsletters, and other written or electronic
printings, provided such guidelines are consistent with paragraph (n) of
this subdivision;

(ii) appropriate sources from which such materials and information may
be obtained;

(iii) the procedures by which such materials and information may be
obtained; and

(iv) any other matter the clearinghouse may deem important;

(k) maintain and make available to appropriate state and local law
enforcement agencies information concerning technological advances that
may assist in facilitating the recovery of missing vulnerable adults;

(l) take such other steps as necessary to assist in education,
prevention, service provision, and investigation of cases involving
missing vulnerable adults;

(m) (i) In consultation with the division of state police and other
appropriate agencies, develop, regularly update, and distribute model
missing vulnerable adult prompt response and notification plans. Such
plans shall be available for use by local communities and law
enforcement personnel, and shall involve a proactive, coordinated
response that may be promptly triggered by law enforcement personnel
upon confirmation by a police officer, peace officer, or police agency
of a report of a missing vulnerable adult, as defined in subdivision one
of this section.

(ii) Such plans shall, at a minimum, provide that: (A) the name of the
missing vulnerable adult, a description of the missing individual, and
other pertinent information may be promptly dispatched over the police
communication system pursuant to subdivision three of section two
hundred twenty-one of this chapter; (B) such information may be
immediately provided, in a manner consistent with paragraph (n) of this
subdivision, both (1) orally, electronically, or by facsimile
transmission to one or more radio stations and other broadcast media
outlets serving the community including, but not limited to, those who
have voluntarily agreed in advance to promptly notify other such radio
stations and broadcast media outlets in like manner and (2) by
electronic mail message to one or more internet service providers and
commercial mobile service providers serving the community including, but
not limited to, those which have voluntarily agreed in advance to
promptly notify other such internet service providers in like manner;
(C) participating radio stations and other participating broadcast media
outlets serving the community may voluntarily agree to promptly
broadcast a missing vulnerable adult alert providing pertinent details
concerning the missing vulnerable adult's disappearance, breaking into
regular programming where appropriate; (D) participating internet
service providers and commercial mobile service providers serving the
community may voluntarily agree to promptly provide by electronic mail
message a missing vulnerable adult alert providing pertinent details
concerning the missing vulnerable adult's disappearance; (E) police
agencies not connected with the basic police communication system in use
in such jurisdiction may transmit such information to the nearest or
most convenient electronic entry point, from which point it may be
promptly dispatched in conformity with the orders, rules, or regulations
governing the system; (F) a statewide response may be initiated as soon
as the division deems it is necessary to find the missing vulnerable
adult. Such a plan may not require the issuance of an alert if the
investigating police department, in its discretion, advises that the
release of such information may jeopardize the investigation or the
safety of the missing vulnerable adult or the investigating police
department requests forbearance for any reason.

(iii) The commissioner shall also designate a unit within the division
that shall assist law enforcement agencies and representatives of radio
stations, broadcast media outlets, internet service providers, and
commercial mobile service providers in the design, implementation, and
improvement of missing vulnerable adult response and notification plans.
Such unit shall make ongoing outreach efforts to local government
entities and local law enforcement agencies to assist such entities and
agencies in the implementation and operation of such plans with the goal
of implementing and operating such plans in every jurisdiction in New
York state.

(n) disseminate specific medical information about a missing
vulnerable adult to the extent that such medical information indicates a
physical quality or behavioral trait that is readily apparent and
contributes to a physical or behavioral description of the missing
vulnerable adult, provided that more extensive information relating to
the missing vulnerable adult's medical diagnosis and condition may be
provided to law enforcement personnel as needed.

3. The commissioner shall submit an annual report to the governor and
legislature regarding the activities of the missing vulnerable adults
clearinghouse, including statistical information involving reported
cases of missing vulnerable adults and a summary of the division's
efforts with respect to the activities authorized under subdivision two
of this section.