Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Gerald Bailey and Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) Secretary Charles T. Corley today recognized the three-year anniversary of the inception of Florida’s Silver Alert Plan and praised its success. To date, 377 Silver Alerts have been issued, with 367 seniors located safely, and 51 of those recoveries attributed directly to the Silver Alert.
“The Silver Alert Plan has helped to ensure a rapid, coordinated, and effective response when a senior goes missing,” said Commissioner Bailey. “When those alerts go out, citizens pay attention, and lives are saved as a result.”
“Seniors make up almost a quarter of Florida’s population, and that is expected to increase to 35 percent by 2030,” said Secretary Corley. “The success of the Silver Alert program demonstrates the commitment by all of Florida’s citizens to protect vulnerable members of our families and our communities.”
Florida’s Silver Alert Plan was initiated by an Executive Order signed on Oct. 8, 2008, and was codified into law by Governor Scott in 2011. It is a standardized system to aid local law enforcement in the rescue of an elderly person with a cognitive impairment who goes missing. The plan calls for the broadcast of information via the media and highway message signs (when a vehicle is involved) to enlist citizens in the search for an endangered senior.
There is no waiting period to report a person missing in Florida, regardless of age. Under the Silver Alert Plan, local law enforcement agencies are encouraged to develop policies and procedures that work best in their respective jurisdictions. Local agencies contact FDLE’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse to request activation of a Silver Alert and use of the Florida Department of Transportation’s dynamic message signs if the missing elder is driving a vehicle and meets the Silver Alert Plan criteria. Once the person has been recovered, DOEA, in coordination with the Area Agencies on Aging and Florida’s Memory Disorder Clinics, work to provide follow-up assistance to the senior and their family.
DOEA along with FDLE, members of the health care community, law enforcement and other entities serve on the Silver Alert Support Committee which helps formulate model policies, develop training and promote awareness.
Floridians are encouraged to sign up to receive Silver Alerts via e-mail at www.elderaffairs.state.fl.us. There is no charge to receive the alerts. To learn more about Florida’s Silver Alert Plan, visit www.fdle.state.fl.us.
For more information contact:
Heather Smith, Keith Kameg or Kristi Gordon
FDLE Office of Public Information
DOEA Press Office