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Iowa Bill Would Make ID Photos Available for Amber Alerts, Missing Person Cases

DES MOINES, IA (Radio Iowa) The Iowa legislature has unanimously voted for a bill to make more photos available for public alerts about Missing Persons. Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars guided the bill through the House.

“Under current law, the DOT cannot release a driver’s license photo or a non-driver’s ID photo except to law enforcement in limited situations. Law enforcement cannot share this image with the general public,” Jeneary says. “This bill allows law enforcement to share the picture when a person is missing or the person is suspected of taking a minor in an Amber Alert.” Senator Jeff Reichman of Montrose says minutes count in missing persons cases, especially when it involves a child.

“There’s usually a 72 hour window, and then the statistic starts dropping off, so this should help law enforcement,” Reichman says. The bill goes into effect as soon as the governor signs it into law. The D-O-T will be able to release photos that will be posted next to names on the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse. The list includes Iowans missing under suspicious circumstances as well as runaways and Iowans with physical or mental disabilities who are unable to take care of themselves on their own.

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