Florida Senate - 2008 CS for SB 502
By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and Senators Constantine, Jones, Fasano, Lynn and Ring
A bill to be entitled
An act relating to missing persons; creating s. 937.0201,
F.S.; providing definitions; amending s. 937.021, F.S.;
requiring law enforcement agencies to adopt written
policies and procedures to be used when investigating
missing children and missing adult reports; requiring the
law enforcement agency having jurisdiction to accept and
file the report; providing a timeframe for transmitting
the report to state and national databases; providing
immunity from civil liability for certain persons
providing information in good faith; requiring that a law
enforcement agency obtain a DNA sample after a child or
adult has been missing for more than 90 days; authorizing
the Department of Law Enforcement to adopt rules; amending
s. 937.022, F.S.; renaming the Missing Children
Information Clearinghouse as the "Missing Endangered
Persons Information Clearinghouse"; revising provisions to
conform; requiring the state and national databases to be
purged of information about a person who has been located;
providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 937.0201, Florida Statutes, is created
937.0201 Definitions.--As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) "Department" means the Department of Law Enforcement.
(2) "Missing adult" means a person 18 years of age or older
whose temporary or permanent residence is in, or is believed to
be in, this state, whose location has not been determined, and
who has been reported as missing to a law enforcement agency.
(3) "Missing child" means a person younger than 18 years of
age whose temporary or permanent residence is in, or is believed
to be in, this state, whose location has not been determined, and
who has been reported as missing to a law enforcement agency.
(4) "Missing endangered person" means:
(a) A missing child;
(b) A missing adult younger than 26 years of age; or
(c) A missing adult 26 years of age or older who is
suspected by a law enforcement agency of being endangered or the
victim of criminal activity.
(5) "Missing endangered person report" means a report
prepared on a form prescribed by the department by rule for use
by the public and law enforcement agencies in reporting
information to the Missing Endangered Persons Information
Clearinghouse about a missing endangered person.
Section 2. Section 937.021, Florida Statutes, is amended to
937.021 Missing child and missing adult reports.--
(1) Law enforcement agencies in this state shall adopt
written policies that specify the procedures to be used to
investigate reports of missing children and missing adults. The
policies must ensure that cases involving missing children and
adults are investigated promptly using appropriate resources. The
policies must include:
(a) Requirements for accepting missing child and missing
(b) Procedures for initiating, maintaining, closing, or
referring a missing child or missing adult investigation; and
(c) Standards for maintaining and clearing computer data of
information concerning a missing child and missing adult which is
stored in the Florida Crime Information Center and the National
Crime Information Center. The standards must require, at a
minimum, a monthly review of each case and a determination of
whether the case should be maintained in the database.
(2) An entry concerning a missing child or missing adult
may not be removed from the Florida Crime Information Center or
the National Crime Information Center databases based solely on
the age of the missing child or missing adult.
(3) A report that a child or adult is missing must be
accepted by and filed with the law enforcement agency having
jurisdiction in the county or municipality in which the child or
adult was last seen. The filing and acceptance of the report
imposes the duties specified in this section upon the law
enforcement agency receiving the report. This subsection does not
preclude a law enforcement agency from accepting a missing child
or missing adult report when agency jurisdiction cannot be
(4)(a)(1) Upon the filing of a police report that a child
is missing by the parent or guardian, the law enforcement agency
receiving the report shall immediately inform all on-duty law
enforcement officers of the existence of the missing child
report, communicate the report to every other law enforcement
agency having jurisdiction in the county, and within 2 hours
after receipt of the report, transmit the report for inclusion
within the Florida Crime Information Center and the National
Crime Information Center databases computer.
(b) Upon the filing of a credible police report that an
adult is missing, the law enforcement agency receiving the report
shall, within 2 hours after receipt of the report, transmit the
report for inclusion within the Florida Crime Information Center
and the National Crime Information Center databases.
(2) A police report that a child is missing may be filed
with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the county
or municipality in which the child was last seen prior to the
filing of the report, without regard to whether the child resides
in or has any significant contacts with that county or
municipality. The filing of such a report shall impose the duties
specified in subsection (1) upon that law enforcement agency.
(5)(3)(a) Upon receiving a request to record, report,
transmit, display, or release Amber Alert or Missing Child Alert
information from the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction
over the missing or endangered child, the Department of Law
Enforcement as the state Amber Alert coordinator,; any state or
local law enforcement agency, and the personnel of these
agencies; any radio or television network, broadcaster, or other
media representative; any dealer of communications services as
defined in s. 202.11; or any agency, employee, individual, or
entity is immune from civil liability for damages for complying
in good faith with the request and is presumed to have acted in
good faith in recording, reporting, transmitting, displaying, or
releasing Amber Alert or Missing Child Alert information
pertaining to such child.
(b) Upon receiving a request to record, report, transmit,
display, or release information and photographs pertaining to a
missing adult from the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction
over the missing adult, the department, a state or local law
enforcement agency, and the personnel of these agencies; any
radio or television network, broadcaster, or other media
representative; any dealer of communications services as defined
in s. 202.11; or any agency, employee, individual, or person is
immune from civil liability for damages for complying in good
faith with the request to provide information and is presumed to
have acted in good faith in recording, reporting, transmitting,
displaying, or releasing information or photographs pertaining to
the missing adult.
(c)(b) The presumption of good faith is not overcome if a
technical or clerical error is made by any such agency, employee,
individual, or entity acting at the request of the local law
enforcement agency having jurisdiction, or if the Amber Alert, or
Missing Child Alert, or missing adult information is incomplete
or incorrect because the information received from the local law
enforcement agency was incomplete or incorrect.
(d)(c) Neither this subsection nor any other provision of
law creates a duty of the agency, employee, individual, or entity
to record, report, transmit, display, or release the Amber Alert,
or Missing Child Alert, or missing adult information received
from the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. The
decision to record, report, transmit, display, or release
information is discretionary with the agency, employee,
individual, or entity receiving the that information from the
local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.
(6) If a missing child or missing adult is not located
within 90 days after the missing child or missing adult report is
filed, the law enforcement agency that accepted the report shall
attempt to obtain a biological specimen for DNA analysis from the
missing child or missing adult or from appropriate family members
in addition to obtaining necessary documentation. This subsection
does not prevent a law enforcement agency from attempting to
obtain information or approved biological specimens for DNA
analysis before the expiration of the 90-day period.
(7) The department shall adopt rules specific to cases
involving missing children and missing adults which will:
(a) Identify biological specimens that are approved by the
department for DNA analysis.
(b) Identify the documentation necessary for the department
to use the biological specimens for DNA analysis.
(c) Establish procedures for the collection of biological
specimens by law enforcement agencies.
(d) Establish procedures for forwarding biological
specimens by law enforcement agencies to the department.
(8) Subsections (6) and (7) are contingent upon the
availability of federal funding for the submission and processing
of approved biological specimens for DNA analysis.
Section 3. Section 937.022, Florida Statutes, is amended to
937.022 Missing Endangered Persons Children Information
(1) There is created a Missing Endangered Persons Children
Information Clearinghouse within the department to serve of Law
Enforcement. The clearinghouse is established as a central
repository of information regarding missing endangered persons
children. Such information shall be collected and disseminated to
assist in the location of missing endangered persons children.
(2) The clearinghouse shall be supervised by a director who
shall be employed upon the recommendation of the executive
director. The executive director shall establish services deemed
appropriate by the department to aid in the location of missing
endangered persons children.
(3) The clearinghouse shall:
(a) Establish a system of intrastate communication of
information relating to missing endangered persons children
determined to be missing by their parents, guardians, or legal
custodians or by law enforcement agencies.
(b) Provide a centralized file for the exchange of
information on missing endangered persons children within the
1. Every state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency
shall submit to the clearinghouse information concerning missing
endangered persons received by it pursuant to s. 937.021.
2. Any person having knowledge parent, guardian, or legal
custodian may submit a missing endangered person child report to
the clearinghouse concerning about a child or adult younger than
26 years of age whose whereabouts is unknown, regardless of the
circumstances, subsequent to reporting such child or adult
missing to the appropriate law enforcement agency within the
county in which the child or adult became missing, and subsequent
to entry by the law enforcement agency of the child or person
into the Florida Crime Information Center and the National Crime
Information Center databases. The missing endangered person which
missing child report shall be included in the clearinghouse
3. Only the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over
the case may submit a missing endangered person report to the
clearinghouse involving a missing adult age 26 years or older who
is suspected by a law enforcement agency of being endangered or
the victim of criminal activity.
(c) Interface with the National Crime Information Center
for the exchange of information on children suspected of
(c)(d) Collect, process, maintain, and disseminate
information on missing endangered persons children and strive to
maintain or disseminate only accurate and complete information.
(4) The person parent, guardian, or legal custodian who is
responsible for notifying the clearinghouse or a law enforcement
agency about a missing endangered person child shall immediately
notify the clearinghouse or the agency of any child or adult
whose location has been determined.
(5) The law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over a
case involving a missing endangered person shall, upon locating
the child or adult, immediately purge information about the case
from the Florida Crime Information Center or the National Crime
Information Center databases and notify the clearinghouse.
Information received pursuant to s. 937.021 about a missing
child, which information has been included in the clearinghouse
database, shall be purged by the appropriate law enforcement
agency immediately upon location of such child.
(6) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Missing child" means a person who is under the age of
18 years; whose temporary or permanent residence is in, or is
believed to be in, this state; whose location has not been
determined; and who has been reported as missing to a law
(b) "Missing child report" means a report prepared on a
form designed by the Department of Law Enforcement for the use by
private citizens and law enforcement agencies to report
information about missing children to the Missing Children
Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.
CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.