Proposed Silver Alert Draws Mixed Reviews - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Proposed Silver Alert Draws Mixed Reviews

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Right now, lawmakers are considering implementing the Silver Alert system in Washington state. Right now, lawmakers are considering implementing the Silver Alert system in Washington state.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Right now, lawmakers are considering implementing the Silver Alert system in Washington state.

The Silver Alert is similar to an Amber Alert, but it is for people who go missing that are over 65 years old, who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's.

Joel Loiacono, the Executive Director of the Inland Northwest Alzheimer's Association said that 60% of people diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's will wander at some point during their disease. And, of those people, 50% will get hurt if they are lost for more than 24 hours.

Bob Braun's wife Jan currently suffers from Alzheimer's. He said when she was first diagnosed, he would not have thought the Silver Alert was needed. But now, he said it could be helpful.

"If she was to wander, any number of things could happen," explained Braun. "I could find her sitting on the curb if I found her at all, so an alert system involving other people, looks to me to be a backup security system."

The Washington State Patrol, however, does not think the state needs the Silver Alert.

They expressed concern that it could become confusing to have a specific alert for a specific type of person.

They also expressed concern that it could be redundant, because they already use the Endangered Missing Person Advisory to keep track of people who might have wandered.

The Silver Alert system exists in a handful of other states across the country, so here in Washington, we just have to wait to see if lawmakers think this is something our state needs.

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