Adding to the systems that let the public know when a child has been abducted, or an elderly person can't be located, legislation in Trenton would introduce the Gold Alert System to help find another segment of vulnerable New Jersey residents.

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Under a measure from Asw. Pamela Lampitt (D-Voorhees), information would be immediately disseminated to the public when someone with a developmental disability goes missing, regardless of age.

Alerts from the media, or on highway message signs, would include physical descriptions and other important details.

"We must do all we can to ensure missing individuals can return home safe and sound, especially when we have all the necessary resources already in place," Lampitt said. "The technology is already there."

According to Lampitt, some developmentally disabled individuals can easily become flustered and non-approachable when lost and scared, but her measure would let the public know that these individuals just need help getting home.

The alert system would only be enacted if the missing person may be in danger of death or serious bodily injury, and if there is enough helpful information to release to the general public.

The bill was advanced Thursday by the Assembly Human Services Committee.