Most of us are familiar with the “silver alert” as a notification that a person sixty-five years of age or older has gone missing. Recently, the Arizona legislature added to the alert notification to include those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Under A.R.S. § 41-1728, upon the request of an authorized person at a law enforcement agency, who is investigating a missing person who is sixty-five years of age or older or has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the department shall activate the emergency alert system and issue a silver alert, if all of the following conditions are met:
1. The missing person is sixty-five years of age or older or has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
2. The law enforcement agency investigating the missing person report:
a. has used all available local resources,
b. has determined that the person has gone missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances,
c. believes that the missing person is in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, environment or weather conditions, that the missing person in the company of a potentially dangerous person or that there are other factors indicating that the missing person may be in peril.
3. Information is available that if given to the public could assist in the safe recovery of the missing person.
4. The department has been designated to use the federally authorized emergency alert system for the issuance of silver alerts.
If a silver alert notification is issued, then the information will be shared with other entities in the state who also provide similar notifications and alerts within the state.
The addition of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the statute provides help to assist in locating those who need the most help.