PA 09-109—sSB 451

Select Committee on Aging

Public Safety and Security Committee

Transportation Committee

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A SILVER ALERT SYSTEM

SUMMARY: This act requires the Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Missing Child Information Clearinghouse to collect, process, maintain, and disseminate information to assist in locating missing persons who are (1) seniors age 65 and older or (2) mentally impaired adults at least 18 years old. The missing person's relative, legal or healthcare representative, or nursing home administrator must file a DPS missing person report and attest under penalty of perjury that the missing person meets the eligibility criteria. He or she must notify the clearinghouse or law enforcement agency if the missing person is found.

The act requires local police departments that receive a report of a missing senior or mentally impaired adult to immediately accept the report and notify all on-duty police officers and other appropriate law enforcement agencies. Prior law required this only for reports of missing children under age 15.

Finally, the act clarifies that, within existing resources, the clearinghouse may collect, process, maintain, and disseminate information to help locate missing persons other than children, seniors, or mentally impaired adults.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009

BACKGROUND

Connecticut's Missing Child Information Clearinghouse

By law, local law enforcement agencies must submit reports of all missing children under age 18 to the clearinghouse. Parents may also notify the clearinghouse once they report to local police. The clearinghouse is the state's central repository of information on missing children and others, and the information it collects is used to help locate missing children. By law, the clearinghouse also investigates reports it receives of missing children and cooperates with other law enforcement agencies' investigations, tries to assure that its information is accurate and complete, and participates in an intrastate system for communicating information on missing children (CGS 29-1e).

Silver Alert Systems

“Silver Alert” or “Senior Alert” programs help identify and locate missing seniors with cognitive impairments. Modeled after the federal Amber Alert system for abducted children, Silver Alert programs create an emergency notification system in which law enforcement agencies broadcast local, regional, or statewide public alerts for missing seniors and other individuals with cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer's disease. Broadcasts may be issued using radio, television, and electronic highway signs.

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