(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Starting October 30, 2014, Silver Alerts will be an available tool for law enforcement and the public when an at-risk adult is missing. On July 10, 2013, Governor Sean Parnell signed legislation requiring the Department of Public Safety to develop and implement notification plans to more quickly locate missing vulnerable adults. Like many other states, Alaska has designated the alerts as Silver Alerts. The Department of Public Safety believes that the immediate public notification, using a variety of systems, will likely expedite locating and returning home safely the missing vulnerable adult.
Much like an AMBER Alert, the Silver Alert is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, state and local government and Alaska’s media and broadcasters. Instead of notifying the public of a kidnapped child in imminent danger, a SILVER Alert provides information to the public when a vulnerable adult is missing and believed to be in serious danger. Silver Alerts will not be issued for every missing adult and will be issued only when specific requirements are met.
For a Silver Alert to be issued for a missing individual, the following criteria must be met:
- The individual is lost on foot or in some mode of transportation
- The individual is 18 years of age, or older
- There is a clear indication that the individual has a deterioration of intellectual faculties, a physical impairment or medical condition that makes them unable to meet their own needs or to seek help without assistance.
- Enough descriptive information on the missing individual and their last known location is available to assist with their safe recovery.
- Law enforcement verifies the criteria above and believes the missing individual is in danger and may come to serious harm if not located.
When a law enforcement agency receives a report that a vulnerable adult is missing, the incident will be evaluated based upon the Silver Alert Criteria. If it meets the criteria, the information will be forwarded on to the Alaska State Trooper Fairbanks Dispatch Center for activation. Once activated, the statewide Silver Alert website will be updated. Activating an alert on the website immediately triggers the Silver Alert Notification System which sends an email to everyone on the Silver Alert email list. The DPS Public Information Office will also be notified and the alert information will be forwarded to the media. Additionally, Silver Alert information will be posted on the 5-1-1 website, Social Media, and forwarded to partnering agencies.
The Silver Alert Website activation will include:
- Description of the vulnerable adult (name, race, age, physical attributes, clothing worn)
- Where they were last seen and any location they are believed to be destined for
- Any suspect description (if any evidence of abduction is present)
- Any associated vehicle description
- Phone number for the public to call with information
- A photograph of the vulnerable adult and any suspect, if available
The public can view active Silver Alerts online at https://silveralert.alaska.gov. Members of the public can also sign up for Silver Alert email notifications on the website.