Senate Approves Creation of a “Silver Alert” System

A bill setting up a missing persons alert system for seniors with Alzheimer’s, veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, and other vulnerable adults passed the Alaska State Senate on Wednesday, after already getting approval in the House.

The legislation tasks the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs with creating a “silver alert system.” It would be triggered when adults with special needs go missing, much in the same way that amber alerts are used for children who have been abducted. The bill would make participation in the system voluntary for newspaper, radio, and television outlets.

The measure was introduced by Rep. Max Gruenberg, an Anchorage Democrat. It’s the first bill from a member of the minority caucus that has gotten through the legislature. It passed unanimously in both chambers and now needs the signature of the governor.