KOHL, MARTINEZ REINTRODUCE SILVER ALERT BILL TO HELP LOCATE MISSING SENIORS

System Based on AMBER Alert Is Designed to Locate Missing Adults with Dementia


WASHINGTON - Today U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, reintroduced legislation to create a nationwide network for locating missing adults and senior citizens.  The Silver Alert Act, first introduced last Congress, would create a program modeled after the AMBER Alert and provide federal coordination and assistance to local and state law enforcement agencies.  Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the National Silver Alert Act (H.R. 632), a version of the bill sponsored by Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).
 
"Setting up a Silver Alert system for seniors who go missing due to Alzheimer's disease or dementia will promote the safety of our nation's seniors, while bringing peace of mind to many concerned families," said Senator Kohl.  "With half a million new cases of Alzheimer's every year, the need for a system of this kind will only grow."
 
"With the growing number of aging Americans, especially those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, thousands of adults go missing every year," said Senator Martinez, the top Republican on the Senate's Special Committee on Aging.  "Providing families and law enforcement agencies with the combined resources they need to locate loved ones is essential. This type of proven nationwide network will assist states and territories with developing their own location system and integrate local Silver Alert plans currently in place with the national network."
 
The bill encourages states to develop Silver Alert plans and provides funding to enhance and integrate Silver Alert plans that are currently in place in various states by directing the Department of Justice to establish a national communications network to assist efforts to locate missing senior citizens. It also reauthorizes Kristen's Act, which helps to maintain a national, interconnected resource center and clearinghouse for missing adults.
 
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