Rep. Gruenberg’s And Sen. Ellis’s Legislation Creates Rapid Response for Alaska Seniors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2014
ANCHORAGE – Today, the long-awaited Silver Alert rapid response and notification system went live at silveralert.alaska.gov. The network’s protections are especially important to senior citizens with dementia, adults with developmental disabilities, veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other disabled adults.
“In the same way Amber Alert helps find missing children, Silver Alert will save lives by coordinating the efforts to find seniors, vulnerable adults, and even veterans should they go missing,” said Representative Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage).
The Silver Alert system and operating plans resulted from the passage of House Bill 59, introduced by Rep. Gruenberg and passed in the first session of the 28th Alaska Legislature. Senator Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage) cross-sponsored HB 59 and was the prime sponsor of the Senate companion measure. Both Senator Ellis and Representative Gruenberg were co-sponsors of similar legislation introduced by Senator Bettye Davis during the 27th Alaska Legislature. That legislation did not make it all the way through the legislative process. House Bill 59 received overwhelming support from senior, veterans, and disability advocates before the Legislature.
“Silver Alert is a common-sense tool to protect seniors, vulnerable adults, and veterans with PTSD,” said Senator Ellis. “Given Alaska’s growing population of seniors and military veterans, it’s our responsibility to ensure they have the support they need.”
Alaska now joins thirty-eight other states with Silver Alerts or related programs with demonstrated success in improving the outcomes of missing person searches for vulnerable adults. Alaska has a particular need for a Silver Alert program, given the state’s harsh weather and vast wilderness, coupled with its large number of active military members and veterans, as well as a growing senior population.
The program was designed and implemented by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, to best incorporate the voluntary cooperation of media outlets in notifying the public of missing vulnerable adults through television, radio, and social media.
For more Information contact Rep. Gruenberg’s office, 269-0123.