The “Silver Alert” was signed into Texas law in 2007 to protect elderly people with dementia-related diseases (such as Alzheimer’s) who wander away from their usual residences. The “Silver Alert” is modeled after the “Amber Alert” for missing children, started after the 1996 abduction of Amber Hagerman of Arlington, Texas.
Both the “Ambert Alert” and the “Silver Alert” (for silver-haired seniors) have colors in their names, but the “Amber Alert” was named after Amber Hagerman. The term “Silver Alert” was first applied by the Oklahoma legislature in 2005.
Texas Department of Public Safety
Amber Alert Program
Amber Alert Network State Plan (PDF)
Amber Alert Request Form (PDF) [Law Enforcement Agency use only]
(Use this form to request activation of the Texas Amber Alert Network)
Amber Alert Form Instructions (PDF)
Amber Alert Cellular Telephone Notification Link
(Have Amber Alerts sent to your cell phone.)
(Have Amber Alerts sent to your email account and fax machines)
Amber Alert Community Course
(Learn about the Texas Amber Alert network)
Silver Alert Program
Silver Alert Request Form (PDF) [Law Enforcement Agency use only]
(Use this form to request activation of the Texas Silver Alert Network)
Silver Alert Form Instructions (PDF)
Texas House Committee Report
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
The Amber Alert Program originated in Texas in 1996 after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered. In 2003, President Bush signed the national Amber Alert Program into law. The law requires law enforcement to alert the media following a confirmed child abduction.
Elderly individuals with dementia related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or other mentally debilitating diseases may wander away from their residences, sometimes with tragic results.
C.S.H.B. 157 would create a Silver Alert advisory to broadcast notice of a missing senior citizen.
Norman (OK) Transcript
Published: December 07, 2005 12:00 am
A ‘Silver Alert’ for seniors
The Norman Transcript
A Tulsa lawmaker’s idea to create an “Amber Alert for Seniors,” seems to make sense. When an elderly resident walks away from their home or a care facility, it’s usually only the local police or media that are notified and pay attention to locating the missing senior. That helps, but we’re a mobile society and someone can be across the state in a matter of hours.
State Rep. Fred Perry, R-Tulsa, the longest-serving member of the House, said he filed the “Silver Alert” bill because it involves seniors and was requested by the Silver Haired Legislature, an advisory body that suggests legislation to make Oklahoma a better place for mature citizens.
The state’s Amber Alert system immediately notifies police and fire departments and media outlets throughout Oklahoma when a child goes missing, either through criminal act or something as simple as getting separated from parents at an event.
The minutes after a person goes missing are critical to finding them safely. Getting the word out quickly when someone is truly missing could mean the difference between a happy ending and a tragedy.
CBS 2 (Chicago, IL)
Sep 15, 2006 9:55 pm US/Central
First Amber Alert, Now Silver Alert
Alert Finds Elderly People
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) ― A new system called Silver Alert is helping law enforcement agencies find elderly people who wander away from home.
When a vulnerable senior citizen is missing, the Illinois State Police can issue a regional or statewide alert through the system, which is modeled after Amber Alerts about missing children.
Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent says the system, which started earlier this year, can get quick results. He says state police received a message yesterday morning of a missing senior. Shortly after, a DeKalb County sheriff located the person after a minor traffic accident.
The law creating the system was sponsored by Rep. Dan Beiser of Alton, who has two aunts with Alzheimer’s disease. A handful of other states are considering similar programs.
An Ounce of Prevention
Silver Alert or Amber Alert
March 7, 2007 by MCA
Texas and other states are looking at implementing Silver Alerts to assist in finding older missing adults.
In Texas, nearly 800 senior citizens go missing from their homes and nursing facilities every year. The Texas Silver Haired Legislature and other agencies are hoping the Silver Alert can eliminate that.
They will be patterned after Texas Amber Alerts. There is often debate regarding whether an Amber Alert should have been issued or not. While there is merit in not abusing the system, the Texas Department of Public Safety, DPS, as of July 2006, has only issued Amber Alerts for 27 children since August 2002. That is 27 alerts over 47 months or 1 every 1.75 months. Texas unlike some states, such as Colorado, does not post the total number of missing children each year.
If the criteria for issuing Silver Alerts are similar to an Amber Alert, will they really make a difference? There are 57 children from Texas listed at the NCMEC during that same timeframe. (...)
KVIA.com (El Paso, Las Cruces)
‘Silver Alert’ bill passes Tx House
Updated: May 8, 2007 07:27 PM EDT
EL PASO, Tx. - A bill designed to help family members locate lost loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia passed in the Texas house Monday.
It was one year ago this month that Irma Cruz’s 89-year-old father Fierro became disoriented, wandered off, and died. The tragic event prompted Representative Joe Picket to take action.
Pickett sponsored a bill to establish a ‘Silver Alert’, which will piggyback of existing Amber Alert technology. It could be activated locally, regionally or statewide.
Fierro tells ABC-7, “We put a lot of importance on our youth and our children we need to put the same importance on people with Alzheimer’s and dementia we have to know that they are children that are afraid.”
The reason why amber alerts are so effective is because they are so infrequent.
Representative Pickett addressed concerns that too many postings could desensitize people to the urgency of the alert by establishing these requirements.
Pickett says, “You have to be at least 65, be a resident of Texas, and suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
He adds, “the Department of Public Safety believes this is narrow enough group to make a difference but not broad enough to make this a daily occurrence.”
CBS 7 - Your Eye on West Texas
Texas Silver Alert System Can Save Senior Citizen’s Lives
CBS 7 News
December 10, 2007
West Texas - In order to activate a Silver Alert there are 5 criteria that must first be met:
1.The missing person has to be over 65.
2.Must be a resident of Texas.
3.Diagnosed with mental condition.
4.The Silver Alert must be requested within 72 hours of the disappearance.
5.There must be enough information to give to the public that will assist in finding the senior citizen.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, December 17, 2007 • Permalink