Advocates for seniors in South Carolina are pushing for adoption of a statewide Silver Alert program to find missing seniors, and are working with state Representative Wendell Gilliard on Silver Alert legislation.
Family members of a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s often fear that person could walk away or go missing. When they do, law enforcement responds.
“We give it everything we have. We call search and rescue. We call out helicopters. We call out dogs. We do everything humanly possible. We’ll put it on the interstate to say they’re missing, notify all local agencies and put it in NCIC,” said Sgt. Mark Bryant with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
Bryant said South Carolina does not have a silver alert system, like one many other states do have.
“It possibly could help but I don’t know that more can be done,” Bryant said.
But Dr. Jacobo Mintzer called silver alerts “a huge resource.” Mintzer sits on the board of the South Carolina Alzheimer’s Association and is the director of the Roper St. Francis Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute.
He said he worked with local lawmakers and pushed for a silver alert system, but it hadn’t happened. Former Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer also led a push for silver alerts in 2008, but said the bill lost support when the news media opposed it.