Amended in Assembly April 10, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 535


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk

February 20, 2013


An act to amend Section 8594 of the Government Code, relating to the Emergency Alert System.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 535, as amended, Quirk. Emergency Alert System.

Existing law requires law enforcement agencies that are informed of the abduction of a child 17 years of age or younger, or an individual with a proven mental or physical disability, and determine the victim is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, and that there is information available that, if disseminated to the general public, could assist with the safe recovery of the victim, to request, absent extenuating investigative needs, activation of the Emergency Alert System within the appropriate local area.

This bill would provide that, for purposes of activation of the Emergency Alert System, an abductor may include a custodial parent or guardianbegin insert where the abducted child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or deathend insert.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 8594 of the Government Code is amended
2to read:

3

8594.  

(a) If an abduction has been reported to a law
4enforcement agency and the agency determines that a child 17
5years of age or younger, or an individual with a proven mental or
6physical disability, has been abducted and is in imminent danger
7of serious bodily injury or death, and there is information available
8that, if disseminated to the general public, could assist in the safe
9recovery of the victim, the agency, through a person authorized to
10activate the Emergency Alert System, shall, absent extenuating
11investigative needs, request activation of the Emergency Alert
12System within the appropriate local area. Law enforcement
13agencies shall only request activation of the Emergency Alert
14System for an abduction if these requirements are met. The
15Emergency Alert System is not intended to be used for abductions
16resulting from custody disputes that are not reasonably believed
17to endanger the life or physical health of a child.

18The California Highway Patrol, if requested by a law
19enforcement agency, shall activate the system.

20(b) The California Highway Patrol, in consultation with the
21Department of Justice, as well as a representative from the
22California State Sheriffs’ Association, the California Police Chiefs’
23Association, and the California Peace Officers’ Association, shall
24develop policies and procedures providing instruction specifying
25how law enforcement agencies, broadcasters participating in the
26Emergency Alert System, and any other intermediate emergency
27agencies that may institute activation of the Emergency Alert
28System, and, where appropriate, other supplemental warning
29systems, shall proceed after a qualifying abduction has been
30reported to a law enforcement agency. Those policies and
31procedures shall include, but not be limited to:

32(1) Procedures for transfer of information regarding the abducted
33victim and abduction from the law enforcement agency to the
34broadcasters;

P3    1(2) Specification of the event code or codes that should be used
2if the Emergency Alert System is activated to report a qualifying
3child abduction;

4(3) Recommended language for an abduction alert;

5(4) Specification of information that must be included by the
6reporting law enforcement agency, including which agency a
7person with information relating to the abduction should contact
8and how the person should contact the agency; and

9(5) Recommendations on the extent of the geographical area to
10which a child abduction emergency alert should be broadcast.

11(c) The California Highway Patrol, in consultation with the
12Department of Justice, shall review the Amber Plan as adopted by
13other states and Orange County’s Child Abduction Regional
14Emergency Alert Program for guidance in developing appropriate
15policies and procedures for use of the Emergency Alert System
16and, where appropriate, other supplemental warning systems to
17report qualifying abductions.

18(d) The California Highway Patrol, in conjunction with the
19Department of Justice, shall develop a comprehensive child
20abduction education system to educate children in the state on the
21appropriate behavior to deter abduction. The California Highway
22Patrol shall convene a group consisting of a representative from
23the California State Sheriffs’ Association, the California Police
24Chiefs’ Association, and the California Peace Officers’
25 Association, representatives of advocacy groups, and the
26Department of Education to assist in the development of a plan.

27(e) For purposes of activation of the Emergency Alert System,
28an abductor may include a custodial parent or guardianbegin insert where the
29abducted child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or
30deathend insert
.

31

SEC. 2.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
32this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
33local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
34pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
354 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



O

    98