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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a new event code option to deliver critical messages to the public over television and radio about missing and endangered adult persons. Adding a new “Missing and Endangered Persons” or “MEP” event code to the nation’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) would help law enforcement agencies issue timely alerts in accordance with the Ashanti Alert Act and drive increased public attention to missing persons cases.

Alert originators, such as local public safety officials, use the EAS by selecting from a group of event codes based on the nature of the situation (for example, “CAE” signifies a Child Abduction Emergency, otherwise known as an AMBER Alert).

The FCC’s proposal, issued by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), seeks public comment on creating a new “MEP” alert code for missing and endangered persons who are over the age of 17 and fall outside the criteria for an AMBER Alert. The NPRM also asks about the relationship between this potential new category and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.

The FCC’s NPRM seeks comment on various questions related to this proposal. The deadline for initial comments was May 20, 2024, and reply comments must be filed by June 17, 2024.

The NPRM builds on a resolution passed by the National Congress of American Indians in November 2023, and work by the Department of Interior and the Department of Justice to collect comprehensive data on missing and endangered native and indigenous person cases in accordance with Savanna’s Act. While a widespread concern, the issue of missing and endangered persons is particularly prevalent in Tribal communities, where American Indian and Alaska Native people are at a disproportionate risk of experiencing violence, murder, or vanishing.

Therefore, the FCC seeks to gather input from Tribal communities on the implementation of an MEP event code and has directed the Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) to host Tribal consultation on the NPRM. Tribal leaders and their representatives are encouraged to participate in the consultations and share their statements with the FCC. Please consult the “Upcoming Events” section on this page for registration information and send Tribal leader statements to Native@fcc.gov.

Filing comments in this proceeding:

When submitting comments to the FCC, be aware that:

  • Comments should include your name.
  • You must include the docket number or rulemaking number of the proceeding for the corresponding comment. For this item, please include both PS 15-91 (WEA) and 15-94 (EAS).
  • Comments you submit to the FCC will be made public.

To get filing instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov and should include the following words in the body of the message: "get form" and your e-mail address. A sample form and directions will be sent in reply.

Get more information about filing comments with the FCC by visiting: How to Comment on FCC Proceedings.

FCC documents in this proceeding:

Thursday, June 20, 2024