Governor Crist Recognizes Two-Year Anniversary of Florida’s Silver Alert Plan


TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today, along with Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey and Department of Elder Affairs Interim Secretary Charles T. Corley, recognized the two-year anniversary of Florida’s Silver Alert Plan and praised its success in helping return 36 missing elders back home safely.  Governor Crist encouraged Floridians to sign up to receive free Silver Alerts via e-mail so they can assist in the return of missing seniors.  There is no charge to receive alerts.
”The Silver Alert enlists thousands of Floridians and visitors to our state in the search for a missing senior, and with more eyes searching, the better chance we have of finding someone quickly and safely,” said Governor Crist.  “Seniors make up almost one-quarter of Florida’s population, and we are committed to ensuring the resources are in place to safeguard their health, safety and well-being.”
To date, 227 Silver Alerts have been issued – with 220 seniors located safely and 36 of those recoveries attributed directly to the Silver Alert. To help local law enforcement officers throughout the state better understand how to interact with Silver Alert cases, Alzheimer’s Community Care Inc. of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties recently developed and distributed 400 copies of a training video designed to be shown to law enforcement officers during their shift briefings.
“With one in six missing/endangered seniors recovered as a result of the Silver Alert Plan, statistics clearly show this program is saving lives.” said FDLE Commissioner Bailey.  “The plan has proven to be one of Florida law enforcement’s most effective tools for finding seniors before they fall into harm’s way.”
Florida’s Silver Alert Plan was activated by an Executive Order signed by Governor Charlie Crist on Oct. 8, 2008, and 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 important information via the media and highway message signs (when a vehicle is involved) to enlist citizens in the search for an endangered senior.  
“One of the biggest concerns for loved ones when elders go missing is getting the word out,” said Elder Affairs Interim Secretary Corley. “Silver Alert has made a tremendous difference in the lives of elders and their families. It’s a true life-saver.”
Under the Silver Alert Plan, local law enforcement agencies are encouraged to develop policies and procedures that work best in their respective jurisdictions to broadcast information to the public in a quick and effective manner. Local agencies then contact FDLE’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse to request the use of the Florida Department of Transportation’s dynamic message signs if the missing elder is driving a vehicle and meets the criteria.
FDLE Office of Public Information, (850) 410-7001
DOEA Communications Office, (850) 414-2142