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September 5, 2012

West Virginia: Silver Alert Extends Beyond Just Seniors

by silveralertbill

According to the article “Silver Alert Not Just for Seniors” in The State Journal, the West Virginia Silver Alert program extends beyond missing seniors to any missing person suffering from a cognitive impairment.

The Silver Alert has been enacted several times since its inception, each time for missing senior citizens.

But according to West Virginia State Police Lt. D.L. Frye, the alert system can be enacted for anyone who is cognitively impaired, regardless of age.

“Basically, there is no age limit whatsoever,” Frye told the West Virginia Legislature’s Select Committee on PEIA, Seniors and Long-Term Care during a July 23 interim meeting. “You think it’s for older, elderly people, but it actually governs all people who are cognitively impaired. That’s key to the Silver Alert.”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has introduced federal legislation, the National Silver Alert Act (S.1263), which would establish a national communications network to assist efforts to assist regional and local search efforts for missing seniors and appoints a Department of Justice officer to serve as the Silver Alert Coordinator.  The National Silver Alert Act would also establish minimum standards for using and disseminating alerts issued through the network.

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