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.
In Florida the legislators are evaluating raising the age criteria to 26-year-olds.
TALLAHASSEE — Legislation inspired by last year’s disappearance of Orlando’s Jennifer Kesse cleared a Senate committee Tuesday, but it may face long odds of winning full approval this spring.The measure (CS/SB 2864) would expand the state’s Amber Alert system for missing children to include anyone under age 26. That would make it easier for a parent, blood relative, partner or spouse to get a quick response from law-enforcement officials when a young person is feared missing.
Note: According to the Florida Senate staff analysis, the bill (CB/SB 2864) would raise age requirements for entering information into NCIC and the MCIC systems but does not raise the Amber Alert age limit.