SILVER ALERT PROTOCOL
In response to concerns raised by TRIAD (a volunteer group with a focus on senior safety) regarding persons with cognitive and intellectual impairments, the Rockland County Legislature, in its ongoing mission to provide essential services to protect its vulnerable population, intends by Rockland County Local Law # 5 of 2009 to establish a Silver Alert System.
Silver Alert System – a system similar to the Amber Alert System, which will provide for the rapid dissemination of information regarding missing seniors and other individuals over 18 years of age, who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other cognitive or intellectual impairments which place them at risk.
To establish a protocol that can be used county-wide, which allows local law enforcement to disseminate to media outlets, vital information about these vulnerable individuals who have wandered from their caretakers and to aid in the search and safe return of these individuals to those responsible for them.
The County Sheriff’s Department in conjunction with the various town and village police departments shall establish a Silver Alert System, develop guidelines and set up procedures for issuing a Silver Alert, and maintain a database of media organizations and other outlets to be notified when a senior citizen or other individual over 18 years of age suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other cognitive or intellectual impairment is reported missing.
The establishment of this data base will be a proactive, collaborative effort between the Sheriff, Police and community based organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, Jawonio, ARC or other organizations which are dedicated to the service of these “at risk” persons with special needs. Information and photographs will be obtained and stored in advance, whenever possible, so that they can be broadcast without any delay in case of an emergency.
Criteria for Enrollment in Silver Alert
1. Must be a senior citizen or other individual over 18 years of age with a diagnosed condition of Alzheimer’s or dementia or other cognitive or intellectual impairment.
CARE Procedure for “At Risk” Adults
Currently the Sheriff‘s Police Division in conjunction with the Police Chief’s Association runs the CARE (Computer Aided Rescue Effort) Program. This program maintains a database of information on children in various participating schools and “at risk” adults in the County. Parents/caregivers provide written consent to participate in the program. Participants are photographed and basic information is provided. The photo and information is stored in a secure database and can be retrieved and published in case of an emergency.
Silver Alert Procedure
When a missing person report is received, police officers will be dispatched to the scene, and will follow procedures of their respective departments. When standard search procedures have been exhausted, the responding officer shall inform a supervisor of the situation. The supervisor will then determine if the incident meets the criteria above for issuing a “Silver Alert or if there is a reasonable belief that a person reported missing is afflicted with Alzheimer’s or dementia or any other cognitive or intellectual impairment. The supervisor shall then ensure that a “Silver Alert” is activated, with the following information:
Information that may be disseminated to the public (if available):
1. The missing individual’s name and photograph
2. The missing individual’s age
3. A physical description of the missing individual, including, if known, a description of the clothing the individual was last seen wearing
4. The last location where the missing individual was seen
5. Previous addresses the individual used to reside at, including childhood home
6. The description of any motor vehicle the missing person may be driving, or traveling in, its license plate number and the direction in which it was last seen traveling
In addition to the standard alarm issued by Rockland County Sheriff’s Communication HQ the information will also be broadcast as a Silver Alert on the system used by CARE to issue missing children alerts. This broadcast database is available in the Sheriff’s Office.
A Registry form has been created for the Silver Alert Program. It may be used by all Police Departments to enroll/register residents who meet the criteria in the program. Prior written consent from the individual, parent, guardian, or caregiver will be a prerequisite for enrollment in the program. (See form attached). All residents who are seeking to be enrolled/registered in the program can approach their local Police Departments and fill out the registry form. Each Department should retain a copy of the form for their records. A copy of the completed form along with a recent photo will be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Community Relations Office for inclusion in the central database. This will allow for the rapid creation and publication of a Silver Alert poster should the need arise. Attached is a list of agencies that may be notified. This process is similar to the current procedure for putting out CARE posters. If a poster is needed and the subject is not pre-registered, then the registry form must be completed at that time and a photo submitted in order to put out the Silver Alert poster. Note: There will be a time lag in such cases.
Once the missing person is located the agency of jurisdiction will request cancellation of the Silver Alert and the Sheriff’s Office will issue the cancellation, to the agencies notified. This process is separate and distinct from the missing person alarm that may have been generated by the agency of jurisdiction. It will remain the originating agency’s responsibility to cancel such an alarm.
Besides registry in the Silver Alert database police departments currently using the New World Records Management System (AS 400) will either:
1. Create a jacket with a corresponding Silver Alert indication
2. Find that the Sheriff’s office has created a jacket with the corresponding alert.
In the Global Name search page the Silver Alert will be indicated by a red asterisk against the subject’s name. When the Jacket with an asterisk is queried it will show that the subject is enrolled in the Silver Alert Program. This information will be available to the agencies in 2 ways:
1. RCPIN AS 400 New World users (green screen)
2. Multi system search internet web page
Once the Silver Alert has been issued display signs will be set up on key highways/intersections within the county.
Upon safe return or location of the missing individual, necessary notification cancelling the Silver Alert will be issued by the originating agency to the Sheriff’s Police Division for publication.