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March 1, 2018

Illinois Legislature Looks to Boost Silver Alert

by silveralertbill

The Illinois state legislature is working on expanding its Silver Alert program to include missing persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

“You might have somebody that knows that they’re lost, but if you or I were to go and have a conversation,” says Eric Brown with RAMP. “They’re not going to be able to tell us where they live in the city.”

That’s why some lawmakers in Springfield want to change the missing persons act in Illinois to include people with those disabilities who are considered high risk.

“So, adding that language specifically gives the police, gives families the opportunity to have a resource to reach out to to put something out there to know someone’s missing,” Brown says.

Shawn Way is the CEO of Milestone, an organization that helps people with those disabilities lead independent lives.  He says the organization provides housing, jobs and outing activities for people. Although way says it’s rare for his residents to wander off or get lost, it’s happened before.

“We just contact all hands on deck,” Way says. “Any and all staff at that home, any staff or supervisory staff of that home, contacted the police they came right out right away.”

Lawmakers say it’s happened twice recently in two different parts of the state, which is why lawmakers came up with a plan to add a new alert. They also say they are still working to define a developmental and intellectual disability in that bill. The Senate is set to vote on the measure in the next couple of weeks.

Read more about this story at WREX-TV.


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