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December 31, 2012

California Silver Alert Praised in Redding Record-Searchlight Editorial

by silveralertbill

On January 1, 2013, California will become the 30th state to adopt Silver Alert. This new law will address the troubling issue of wandering and missing seniors. Even in a state as big as California, some seniors cross state lines, such as the case detailed below of an elderly California couple found 400 miles away in Oregon.

From the Editorial in the Redding Record-Searchlight:

Beginning Tuesday, California will join dozens of other states in authorizing “Silver Alerts” — broad public announcement to the media, law enforcement agencies and the general public when senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia go missing.

The alerts for seniors in likely distress will piggyback on the existing “Amber Alerts,” which aim to spread the word about abducted children as quickly as possible and thus find them before a kidnapper can take them far. A senior might not be the victim of a crime, but if she is wandering, lost in a mental fog, the risk to her life is very real indeed.

The need is far from hypothetical. Just this week, a Redding couple — he 85 years old, she 83 — were taking what should have been a 10-minute drive across town to a Christmas Eve dinner, but disappeared and were found late the next night stranded and out of gas by the side of Interstate 5 in Woodburn, Ore. That is 400 miles north and most of the way to Portland, yet an Oregon State Police spokesman said the driver thought he was still in California.

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