In 2003 President George W. Bush signed into law “Suzanne’s Law,” requiring police to notify the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) when someone between 18 and 21 is reported missing, as part of the national “Amber Alert” bill. Previously police were only required to report missing persons under the age of 18. Any person under the age of 21 is considered a missing child.
Many law enforcement agencies are still unaware of the change in the law and their increased responsibilities. In addition to filing the information with the NCIC the law enforcement agency is able to file a report with NCMEC and receive services such as poster creation and age enhancement technology.
Also, they are now able to enter long term missing persons up the age of 21 who were reported missing before the law went into effect.
This Federal law is named for Suzanne Lyall, a State University of New York at Albany student who has been missing since 1998.
The Suzanne Lyall Campus Safety Act
The legislation, an amendment to the larger Higher Education Opportunity Act, is called the Suzanne Lyall * Campus Safety Act. It is designed to minimize delays and confusion during an initial investigation. A related law was enacted on the state level in 1999. New York’s Campus Safety Act, also prompted by Lyall’s disappearance ( who has been missing since 1998.), requires all colleges in the state “to have formal plans that provide for the investigation of missing students and violent felony offenses committed on campus.”