Tree with sunset in background
Virginia seal



Governing Legislation

Plan Components

Advisory Board


Law Enforcement User's Guide

Virginia's Amber Alert System -- Abducted Children

Missing Kids Screensaver logo and link to

Governing Legislation:


Missing senior adult: an adult whose whereabouts are unknown and who is over 60 years of age and suffers a cognitive impairment to the extent that he is unable to provide care to himself without assistance from a caregiver, including a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, and whose disappearance poses a credible threat as determined by a law-enforcement agency to the health and safety of the adult and under such other circumstances as deemed appropriate by the Virginia State Police.

Senior alert:  the notice of a missing senior adult provided to the public by the media or other methods under a Senior Alert Agreement.

Statutory Authority:

§ 52-34.5. Establishment of the Virginia Senior Alert Program.
The Virginia State Police shall develop policies for the establishment of uniform standards for the creation of Senior Alert Programs throughout the Commonwealth. The Virginia State Police shall (i) inform local law-enforcement officials of the policies and procedures to be used for the Senior Alert Programs; (ii) assist in determining the geographic scope of a particular Senior Alert; and (iii) establish procedures and standards by which a local law-enforcement agency shall verify that a senior adult is missing and shall report such information to the Virginia State Police.
The establishment of a Senior Alert Program by a local law-enforcement agency and the media is voluntary, and nothing in this chapter shall be construed to be a mandate that local officials or the media establish or participate in a Senior Alert Program.

§ 52-34.6. Activation of Senior Alert Program upon an incident of a missing senior adult.
A. Upon receipt of a notice of a missing senior adult from a law-enforcement agency, the Virginia State Police shall confirm the accuracy of the information and provide assistance in the activation of the Senior Alert Program as the investigation dictates.

B. Senior Alerts may be local, regional, or statewide. The initial decision to make a local Senior Alert shall be at the discretion of the local law-enforcement official. Prior to making a local Senior Alert, the local law-enforcement official shall confer with the Virginia State Police and provide information regarding the missing senior adult to the Virginia State Police. The decision to make a regional or statewide Senior Alert shall be at the discretion of the Virginia State Police.

C. The Senior Alert shall include the missing senior adult information as defined in § 15.2-1718.1 and any other such information as the law-enforcement agency deems appropriate that will assist in the safe recovery of the missing senior adult.

D. The Senior Alert shall be cancelled under the terms of the Senior Alert Agreement. Any local law-enforcement agency that locates a missing senior adult who is the subject of an alert shall notify the Virginia State Police immediately that the missing senior adult has been located.

E-mail comments, suggestions and questions to Virginia's Senior Alert System