North Dakota may become the next state to adopt a Silver Alert program for missing seniors. House Bill 1359 was introduced by Representative Alisa Mitskog (D-Wahpeton) on January 16, 2017. H.B. 1359 directs the Superintendent of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Division of State Radio of the Department of Emergency Services to jointly establish a Silver Alert notice system. Such a system would apply to disabled adults, vulnerable elderly adult, or minors with developmental disabilities who have been reported to law enforcement as missing.
H.B. 1359 passed the North Dakota House of Representatives by a vote of 88-4 on February 21, 2017, the bill is currently pending in the Senate, where it has the support of Senators Kelly Armstrong, Jim Dotzenrod, Diane Larson, and Carolyn Nelson.
According to a news story at KVLY-TV in Fargo, North Dakota:
“Law enforcement can alert the public to be on the look out for missing these missing individuals,” said Democrat Representative Alisa Mitskog.
Although there are no guidelines or criteria for the Silver Alert system right now, Represtative Mitskog says the state law enforcement or the legislature would set them.
“We want to avoid overzealous reporting and want to protect one’s privacy,” said Mitskog.
Six out of 10 people with Alzheimers wander away from their home according to the Alzheimer’s Association. One representative signed onto the bill because he experienced his 93-year old aunt going missing.
“3 days ago the police had picked her up and she was in no condition to tell them how she could get home or where she lived or anything,” explained Republican Representative Mark Owens. “So she spent a three day vacation in one of our very nice, efficient hospitals.”
Missouri lawmakers have pre-filed legislation to create a statewide Silver Alert. House Bill 186 was pre-filed by Representative Keith Frederick (R-Rolla). The bill would create a Silver Alert to aid in the identification and location missing endangered persons. HB 186 defines an endangered person as someone who is missing under unexplained, involuntary, or suspicious circumstances; and is believed to be in danger because of age, guardianship, health, mental or physical disability, environmental or weather conditions; or is in the company of a potentially dangerous person or is affected by some other factor that may put the individual in peril.
From a news story on KSPR-TV.
An alert system could help Johnson’s grandfather makes it home faster, like the Amber Alerts would if her children were missing.
“There wouldn’t be any reason not to have it. Think if it was your loved one that was out you would want someone doing something to help find them,” she says.
You could also see alerts pop up when an officer is assaulted or hurt on lighted signs and your smartphone with details on who did it and where they could be.
Lawmakers are working on this as part of the Amber Alert System with another bill recently filed.
The next session for Missouri lawmakers starts next month.
Washington State Representative Sherry Appleton has introduced House Bill 1021, legislation to create a Silver Alert program for Washington.
From KUOW Radio:
When the Legislature convenes next week, Rep. Sherry Appleton plans to introduce a bill for a silver alert system in Washington state.
Similar to the Amber Alert for children, this alert would be for elderly people with dementia who wander off. Appleton says 60 people went missing in the past year.
“Six-zero,” says Appleton. “I think it’s a lot of people.”
Appleton says a silver alert could have helped those missing people.