Is the Texas Clear Alert System under utilized?

Newer tool to track down missing adults still gaining traction

Newer tool to track down missing adults still gaining traction

HOUSTON – Only Texas has it, but is Texas using it enough?

The state’s CLEAR Alert system, which in simplest terms is an Amber Alert for missing adults and could be used more widely and effectively, according to the system’s founder.

CLEAR is an acronym for Coordinated Law Enforcement Adult Rescue, which seeks to widely broadcast critical, timely information about missing adults believed to be in imminent danger.

CLEAR alert criteria:

  • Is the individual 18 to 64 years of age, whose whereabouts are unknown?
  • Has a preliminary investigation verified the adult is in imminent danger of bodily injury or death or is the disappearance involuntary such as an abduction or kidnapping?
  • Is the CLEAR alert request within 72 hours of the individual’s disappearance?
  • Is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public to help locate the individual, a suspect, or the vehicle used in the incident?

Are CLEAR Alerts used?

“It’s kind of a mixed bag right now,” said Alison Steele.

Steele was the years-long driving force behind the CLEAR Alert legislation. The system rolled out in 2019, and Steele talks to anyone and everyone about the benefits of using the alerts.

Texas DPS administers the system, but any law enforcement agency can request an alert.

“Last year, we received 65 clear alerts and we activated about 50 of them,” said Texas DPS Lt. Craig Cummings.

The discrepancy is accounted for by situations where facts change before alerts could be issued, or in some cases, criteria for broadcast on TXDOT highway billboards not being met.

But Steele, whose daughter, 19-year-old Cayley Mandadi, was murdered in 2017, according to the San Antonio Police Department, believes the system can still be used more often and more effectively.

Steele, hampered by the pandemic, has not been able to meet with groups in person as often as she would like to sell them on the idea of using the CLEAR Alert system, but is already scheduling meetings in 2022.

“We just can’t leave people out there to suffer horrible deaths when it is fully preventable in many cases,” said Steele.

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