New Mexico State Senator Sen. Richard Martinez (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe counties) has introduced SB 42 the Missing Person Notification Requirements Act. One of the proposed changes in this bill relates to the current age requirement for Silver Alert notifications. SB 42 would exempt the endangered person from the age requirement of 50 years or older if there is a clear indication that the individual suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. This would align New Mexico’s Silver Alert policy with several other states that have already passed similar change.
Tommy Hernandez, the public policy director of the New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association, made the case for SB 42 in an oped in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The bill also would provide a plan for collecting and maintaining records on each Silver Alert issued so that data-driven decisions can be made in the future. Currently, there is no plan to collect and maintain records and data on these notifications. Further, this legislation would establish a procedure for a text message notification on the endangered person, similar to an Amber Alert text.
This bill is urgently needed. Our state’s population of people age 65 and older will grow at a much faster rate than the national average. Aging is the single biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s. According to the New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Department’s website, “By the year 2030, New Mexico’s percentage of population over age 65 will move from 29th to fourth-largest in the nation.”
We look forward to advocating in strong support of this much-needed bill on behalf of the nearly 39,000 people living with this disease and the 110,000 selfless caregivers in our state today, and call on our policymakers to support it.
On December 29, 2017 a Silver Alert was issued for 70-year-old Lorenzo Rendon. Rendon went missing in Clovis, New Mexico found safe 720 miles away in Phoenix, Arizona.
According to the Tucson News:
The Silver Alert for Lorenzo Rendon has been canceled by the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, DPS said. Rendon was located in Phoenix on Saturday morning.
On February 2, 2017, a Silver Alert issued for 89-year-old Virginia Foltz. Foltz went missing in El Paso, Texas and was later found safe 50 miles away in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
According to the news story on KFOX-TV
A Silver Alert issued for an 89-year-old woman last seen in El Paso on Thursday was cancelled hours after the alert was sent out.
Police said Virginia Foltz, 89, was at a local car dealership with her husband. Her husband thought she was following him in a 2012 Hyundai Sonata, but when he returned to Las Cruces, Foltz wasn’t behind him.
Police said Foltz suffers from dementia.
She was found in Las Cruces, police said.