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April 7, 2015

California: American Silver Alert Coalition Endorses AB 643

by silveralertbill

The American Silver Alert Coalition endorsed AB 643, which expands the California Silver Alert program to activate an alert via Changeable Message Signs (CMS).

In a letter to California State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, ASAC Executive Director Wyeth Ruthven noted “AB 643 ensures that California is taking all possible measures in finding a missing person. By including Changeable Message Signs in the dissemination of Silver Alerts, AB 643 adds a vital tool to locate missing seniors, a tool that has been used effectively in other states.” Ruthven noted the successful use of Changeable Message Signs by the Florida Silver Alert program, where 93 successful recoveries were directly attributable to the use of dynamic highway message signs or other actions initiated by state agencies. By contrast, 31 resulted in an indirect recovery, defined as a person recovered through the actions of the local agency in coordination with the Silver Alert Plan, primarily through law enforcement communications or media.

During the hearing, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia discussed the 2014 case of Dean Abney. The 85-year-old man went missing in Yucca Valley, California, and was later found safe 950 miles away in Amarillo, Texas.

Video of committee consideration of AB 643 is available here.



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