Friday, April 16, 2010
Silver Alert Information
In 2007, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) implemented the Texas Silver Alert Network as a means to assist law enforcement in the recovery of missing senior citizens statewide. Silver Alerts typically resemble those alerts issued for abducted children (AMBER Alerts), using similar notification technologies (with the exception of the Emergency Alert System) to alert the public. The Silver Alert is an emergency system in which law enforcement can broadcast regional or statewide alerts for missing seniors and/or other adults with Alzheimer's or other cognitive disorders. The goal is to locate the missing senior citizen as quickly as possible.
In order for a Silver Alert to be activated, Law Enforcement must meet all six (6) criteria.
• Is the missing person 65 years of age or older?
• Is the senior citizen’s residence in Texas?
• Does the senior citizen have a diagnosed impaired mental condition, and does the senior citizen’s disappearance pose a credible threat to the senior citizen’s health and safety? (Law enforcement shall require the family or legal guardian of the missing senior citizen to provide documentation from a medical or mental health professional of the senior citizen’s condition).
• Is it confirmed that an investigation has taken place verifying that the senior citizen’s disappearance is due to his/her impaired mental condition, and alternative reasons for the senior citizen’s disappearance have been ruled out?
• Is the Silver Alert request within 72 hours of the senior citizen’s disappearance?
• Is there sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the senior citizen? (Highway signs will be activated only if accurate vehicle information is available AND it is confirmed that the senior citizen was driving the vehicle at the time of the disappearance).
It is recommended that all Texas senior citizens, 65 years and older with an impaired mental condition, have acceptable documentation of that condition. Accepted documentation by the DPS, is defined as a signed and dated statement issued on a physician’s letterhead, diagnosing the mental impairment. Discuss obtaining proper documentation with caregivers and legal guardians, before a wandering incident takes place.
If you believe you have a family member that is at risk for wandering, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association for information on wandering triggers and prevention at www.alz.org or (800) 272-3900.
The Bryan Police Department encourages families to create a wandering person profile containing the name, date of birth, current photo, physical description, clothing description, documented diagnosis, vehicle information, license plate number, and a list of previous residences and favorite places.
Officer Jason B. James
Bryan Police Department
Public Information Officer
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