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Media Advisory: Lt Gov, advocates, sheriffs to hold Silver Alert press  conference

September 22, 2008

Lt. Governor Andre Bauer will be joined by a number of senior advocates and Sheriffs and other law enforcement representatives from the Midlands region in the rotunda of the State Capitol at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept 23, to call for South Carolina to join 10 other states in implementing a Silver Alert system. Federal legislation is pending that will provide grants to states to implement these systems.

Accordingly to the May 8, 2008, edition of Seniorjournal.com:

At least 5.2 million Americans suffer from dementia, and research shows that six out of 10 of those will wander. Only 4 percent of those who leave home alone are able to find their way back without help, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Like the successful Amber Alert program established in the mid-1990s to locate missing children, the state-run Silver Alert accelerates the usual missing persons search by using public broadcast systems, state transportation department automated road signs and a 511 emergency call-line to involve the community in rescuing vulnerable seniors.

State programs — which administrators say are inexpensive to operate because they piggyback on existing Amber Alert communication systems — vary from state to state. All states use similar public announcements but differ on who is covered and what is required to file an alert.

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