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It’s official: Alaska has joined the majority of states in this country to adopt the Silver Alert program.
House Bill 59, signed recently by Gov. Sean Parnell, creates rapid response and notification plans for responders to activate when a vulnerable adult is missing. It would apply to adults with disabilities, including dementias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and developmental disabilities.
Rep. Max Gruenburg, who introduced HB59, likened it to the Amber Alert program for missing children, and said it can save lives by getting efforts coordinated to find the missing person. The Senate-side sponsor, Johnny Ellis, said the only concern he’d ever heard about the bill was “Why the heck haven’t we done this already?”
Now, Alaska is the 39th state to adopt such a program. Here, the program will be designed by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, with help from the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, “to best incorporate the voluntary cooperation of media outlets in notifying the public of missing vulnerable adults,” according to the governor’s office.
We welcome the Silver Alert designation, and look forward to details on how it will play out in Southeast Alaska. Stay tuned.