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Iowa's Endangered Person Advisory System
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The Endangered Person Advisory System

The Endangered Person Advisory (EPA)  is a system designed to disseminate information about a missing/ endangered person to law enforcement and the media. The Endangered Person Advisory is a voluntary partnership between Iowa law enforcement, broadcasters, media and organizations representing Iowa citizens and visitors. The Endangered Person Advisory informs the public about a missing/endangered person. Only Iowa law enforcement can initiate an Endangered Person Advisory. In order for an Endangered Person Advisory to be initiated, an investigation must be made into the missing person’s whereabouts immediately, and without delay.

  • There is no waiting period required to initiate a missing person report.
  • Issuing an Endangered Person Advisory is not designed to replace, circumvent, prevent or prohibit local law enforcement from initiating internal procedures or processes they have in place to assist with public notifications.
  • If the missing persons is under age 18, does the situation fit the criteria for an AMBER Alert?  If they are over age 18, proceed with activation procedures for an EPA.

Law Enforcement must determine if all the criteria for an Endangered Person Advisory exists:

  • Is the person missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances?  Entry into NCIC via the IOWA System is a mandatory requirement to proceed further.
  • Is the person believed to be in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, environment, weather conditions or in the company of a potentially dangerous person broadcast some other factor that may put the person in danger of serious bodily injury or death;
  • Is there enough information such as a current photograph/image of the person that issuing an Endangered Person Advisory could assist in the safe recovery of the missing person?
  • Law enforcement must immediately enter information about the missing person into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) via the IOWA System.
  • Investigation into this matter will be done without delay.
  • Iowa law enforcement is notified with a statewide "Attempt to Locate"/Endangered Person entry including a statewide voice radio broadcast on the statewide interoperability channel known as LEA.  The LEA broadcast can also be more regionally targeted if necessary.
  • The missing person information posts on the Department of Public Safety's missing person's web site at
  • Broadcasters and the media may be notified by Law Enforcement about the Endangered Person Advisories, or --
  • The initiating law enforcement entity will appoint a Public Information Officer (PIO) who can coordinate with the DPS PIO Office to help coordinate the release of information.  DPS can help with regional or statewide distribution of information to the media.  Call 515.725.6196 or 515.323.4360 (DMS State Radio) to request DPS PIO assistance.

Law Enforcement can cancel an EPA:

  • NCIC record is canceled.
  • The initiating law enforcement entity's Public Information Officer (PIO) can coordinate with the DPS PIO to cancel the advisory.
  • L/E will notify DPS when the person has been located.
  • The EPA is listed indefinitely with the DPS Missing Person Information Clearing House until the NCIC record is canceled.

Partners in Creation of the Endangered Person Advisory Contacts:

Iowa Department of Public Safety 215 E. 7th St. Des Moines, Iowa 50319 515.725.6196

Alzheimer’s Association® • 24/7 Contact Center: 800.272.3900 Safe Return®: 800.572.1122
Big Sioux Chapter/Sioux City East Central Iowa Chapter/Cedar Rapids
Greater Iowa Chapter/Des Moines Midlands Chapter/Omaha

Department on Aging Jessie M. Parker Building 510 E 12th Street, Suite 2 Des Moines, IA 50319-9025 515.725.3333

Iowa Police Chiefs’ Association Chief Michael L. Lashbrook Mason City Police Department 78 S Georgia Avenue Mason City, Iowa  50401 641.421.3650

Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association PO Box 526 Atlantic, IA 50022

Information Sheets To Download:

(The documents below are in pdf format)

Things You Should Know About The Endangered Person Advisory 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Article from the Daily Nonpareil Newspaper on 11.10.10


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