NO. 33.  AN ACT RELATING TO A VERMONT AMBER ALERT PROGRAM.

(H.28)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  20 V.S.A. § 1828 is added to read:

§ 1828.  VERMONT AMBER ALERT PROGRAM

The department of public safety shall establish the Vermont Amber alert program to aid in the identification and location of abducted children.  The department shall administer the program pursuant to the following:

(1)  A law enforcement agency which verifies the abduction of a child shall notify the department of public safety.

(2)  The department shall establish a procedure for verifying the need to issue an Amber alert.

(3)  The department of public safety shall issue an alert over the Vermont emergency alert system if:

(A)  a law enforcement agency notifies the department of the abduction of a child;

(B)  there is sufficient information about the child or the person suspected of abducting the child that an immediate broadcast might help locate the child; and

(C)  the child is in danger of imminent death or serious bodily harm.

(4)  An alert issued under this section shall be sent to the Federal Communications Commission’s designated state emergency alert system broadcaster in Vermont.  Participating radio and television stations shall broadcast the alert at intervals established by the department.  The alert shall include all information which the department determines may assist in the safe recovery of the abducted child and instructions explaining how a person with information related to the abduction may contact a law enforcement agency. 

(5)  A law enforcement agency which locates a child who is the subject of an alert issued under this section shall immediately notify the law enforcement agency which requested the Amber alert.

(6)  An alert issued under this section shall be canceled:

(A)  if the department notifies the Federal Communications Commission’s designated state emergency alert system broadcaster in Vermont that the child has been located; or

(B)  at the expiration of a notification period specified by the department.

(7)  A radio or television station that accurately broadcasts information pursuant to this section shall not be liable for civil damages as a result of the broadcast of such information.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

Approved:  May 22, 2003