An article written by the University Massachusetts School of Communications entitled “Silver Alert registry aids police in search for missing elders with dementia” reviews the progress being made launching Silver Alert in Massachusetts. Twelve communities in the Bay State have begun pilot Silver Alert programs within their jurisdictions:
The Office of Program Development within Commonwealth Medicine helped kick off a program designed to improve the success of the Massachusetts Silver Alert Community Response System. The state’s Silver Alert law, which took effect in 2010, sets up procedures and protocols for public safety and human services agencies to follow when seniors with dementia are reported missing.
Local police departments and elder services agencies in the 12 communities participating in the program are now working with families to collect recent photographs and information about seniors with dementia who might one day become lost. Pre-registering seniors with dementia will enable the local police department to begin searching for them immediately if they are reported missing instead of having to wait while the information is obtained.
A recent article in the Orange County Register reviews the progress of the California Silver Alert program on its 2-year anniversary.
The American Silver Alert Coalition praised California for its successful adoption of Silver Alert:
The American Silver Alert Coalition reports that 26 states have adopted Silver Alert programs, and nine others have similar missing-seniors programs. Executive Director Wyeth Ruthven said since 2009, the coalition has documented 83 cases in 17 states where seniors have gone missing in one state and been located in another.
The article pointed to a high success rate among California Silver Alerts:
Data from the CHP show that in the program’s first year 161 Silver Alerts were issued statewide, with one case still open. Nelson said the remaining cases have been closed, and all subjects were located. In 2014, 164 Silver Alerts were issued, Nelson said, with three cases still open. All other subjects from the 2014 activations were located, he said.
Washington State Representative Sherry Appleton has introduced House Bill 1021, legislation to create a Silver Alert program for Washington.
From KUOW Radio:
When the Legislature convenes next week, Rep. Sherry Appleton plans to introduce a bill for a silver alert system in Washington state.
Similar to the Amber Alert for children, this alert would be for elderly people with dementia who wander off. Appleton says 60 people went missing in the past year.
“Six-zero,” says Appleton. “I think it’s a lot of people.”
Appleton says a silver alert could have helped those missing people.