There will be another public alarm next year to let everyone know when someone has been abducted or gone missing — this one, for young Black people.

But this one, to be deployed in California, is geared toward a people who have been

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed state Senate Bill 673, the Ebony Alert Bill, which establishes an emergency notification system for missing Black people ages 12 to 25, a demographic that has been historically misrepresented and forgotten when it comes to bringing them back to safety, according to officials.

Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, authored the bill, which Newsom signed earlier this month, to urge law enforcement agencies to better report and investigate when Black people are missing. It will become law on Jan. 1.

“There’s clear data that shows African Americans are disproportionately missing,” Bradford said in a recent interview. “But rarely are law enforcement (agencies) dedicated to bringing them home safely.”

African American people make up 14% of the U.S. population but, according to the Black and Missing Foundation, 38% of the children reported missing in the nation are Black.

Legislators hope, Bradford said, that the Ebony Alert will work in the same fashion as the Amber Alert, helping people get found and returned when it’s triggered. And, the senator said, he hopes the bill expands to other states, as the problem is national.

“Rarely is an Amber Alert triggered when an African American person is missing,” Bradford said. “So hopefully this will bring forth the resources and media attention that’s been denied.”

Amber Alerts started in 1996 after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered near her home in Arlington, Texas. It was a partnership between law-enforcement agencies and media broadcasters to quickly notify the public of an abducted child. California signed Amber Alerts into law in 2002.

But the coming Ebony Alert isn’t the only emergency notification that’s geared toward specific demographics.

Feather Alerts were created earlier this year to help locate endangered Indigenous Americans who have been reported missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances, and Silver Alerts, for people older than 65 and living with disabilities or cognitive impairment, have been around since 2012.

The Ebony Alerts will target those 12 to 25 rather than 17 and younger like Amber Alerts do, Bradford said, because Black young adults who may have been abducted often get less media attention than children would. African American women and men, he added, are just considered “missing” if they disappear at 18 or older.

And when Black youth 17 or younger are missing or kidnapped, Bradford said, they’re often classified as runaways.

Bradford noted how the story of Gabby Petito, a White woman who was reported missing and was killed by her fiance in 2021, got national, ongoing coverage. But if the same thing happened to multiple Black women at the same time, no one would have really known — they would still just be “missing.”

While the impending law didn’t start with a specific origin story like the Amber Alert did, Bradford said, there are countless examples that have gone completely unaddressed.

A couple of years ago in Palmdale, for example, a pair of 5- or 6-year-old brothers who are African American disappeared for months, Bradford said. There was never an Amber Alert triggered, he said, even though authorities knew about the situation — and one of the boys was ultimately found dead.

Police departments throughout the state will be able to request that the California Highway Patrol activate Ebony Alert messages and signs in respective areas when Black youth are reported missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances, are at risk, have developmental disabilities, have cognitive impairments or who have been abducted — with special attention on young women and girls.

Although the new law can’t ensure more accurate reporting in missing cases for the target demographic, Bradford said, it focuses on issues that most heavily affect Black people, like sex trafficking, mental or physical challenges, people who have disappeared under suspicious circumstances and those who have been known to be harassed.

He also mentioned how incidents of staged kidnappings, such as with Carlee Russel earlier this year, could exacerbate the disparities, perpetuating a stereotype that Black people would more likely purposely leave the lives they know than be abducted.

There’s currently an overall spike in awareness about the issue, Bradford said, citing the NBC series “Found,” which follows a Black woman who is dedicated to finding America’s missing and forgotten people. She was kidnapped as a child herself.

While critics may say a bill like this is unnecessary, Bradford said, “the real issue should be why there’s such disparagement with how resources are used if you’re blond and blue-eyed versus African American.”

“America (has) devalued African Americans for over 400 years,” Bradford said, and considered Black people’s problems “irrelevant. We shouldn’t be surprised if someone on our ethnic group disappears.”