News


FDLE commemorates 10th anniversary of Florida Silver Alerts

 

For Immediate Release
October 8, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Ten years ago today, the Florida Silver Alert program was established following the tragic death of an 86-year-old woman suffering from dementia earlier that year. The Florida Silver Alert program was codified in state law in April 2011 when Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation amending Florida statute 937.0201 to include the program.

Thus far in 2018, Florida has activated 189 Silver Alerts. Since the 2008 inception of the Silver Alert Plan, 1901 alerts have been activated, resulting in 201 recoveries directly attributable to the alerts.

Safe recoveries from Silver Alert activations come in many forms, as evidenced by three success stories from last year. An 88-year-old man from Lee County was recognized from the Lottery System Silver Alert notification by a store clerk at a gas station, who alerted law enforcement. A 90-year-old man from Lee County was safely returned home when a citizen recognized his vehicle from a Department of Transportation Dynamic Message Sign and notified the authorities. And in Volusia County, an 80-year-old woman recognized herself from a DOT Dynamic Message Sign and called law enforcement.

Missing persons 60 years of age and older who have irreversible deterioration of intellectual faculties such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are eligible for Silver Alert activation.

With over 5.3 million residents age 60 and older, the Department of Elder Affairs estimates that more than 540,000 individuals in Florida are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Through coordinated state and local efforts, Florida’s Silver Alert Program has gained the reputation of being an effective and necessary tool that has encouraged communities to participate in locating our missing elders.

Commissioner Rick Swearingen said, “FDLE supports the invaluable efforts of our members, partners and citizens throughout the state who have worked to keep Florida’s citizens safe through this program. Over the past decade, Florida Silver Alerts have helped to quickly spread the word and return these vulnerable citizens safely home.”

Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Jeffrey Bragg said, “As the number of Floridians affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia continues to rise, it is important that we highlight important programs like Silver Alert and the role they play in ensuring the safety of our loved ones affected by dementia. We are proud of this program’s success and of the commitment of all of our partners to safely bring home missing elders.”

For more information on Florida Silver Alerts, please visit: http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/silver_alert_about.html.

To subscribe to the Silver Alert notification system, please visit: https://lists.elderaffairs.org/listmanager/listinfo/silveralert.

For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Jessica Cary, Jeremy Burns or Angela Starke
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001