(NASHVILLE) – Legislation allowing the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to expand its missing and endangered child and young adult alert program to individuals under the age of 21 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Senate Bill 2464, which is sponsored by Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), is named the “Holly Bobo Act” for a 20-year-old young woman who was kidnapped and murdered from her Darden, Tennessee home in 2011.
Currently, the endangered child alerts are issued for abduction of persons under the age of 18.
“The TBI has an effective endangered child alert system in place,” said Senator Gresham. “When the Bureau issues an alert, they notify local media in specific regions and use social media to share the relevant information to help them locate missing persons during the most critical hours. What this bill does is simply raises the maximum age that is eligible for that alert from 17 to 20, adding a lot of strength and urgency to the matter.”
Gresham said the intent is to allow local law enforcement agencies the opportunity to request this alert utilizing existing protocols already in place. The National Crime Information Center claims that 73 percent of missing persons are 20 years of age or under. In issuing an Endangered Child Alert, which is distinct from the America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency (AMBER) Alert, the TBI notifies local media in specific regions of the state about the missing person, along with any additional available information.
The bill now moves to the Senate floor for final consideration.