Anyone with an aging parent knows the fear that one day that loved one will suffer from mental impairments affecting memory and comprehension. With that also comes the concern over what would happen if that aging parent wandered away from home and became lost or disoriented.
In response to growing issue, Rockland police this week are launching the "Rockland County Silver Alert System" to focus on the fast and safe return of an at-risk adult who may have wandered away from home or a care facility.
Similar in to "Amber Alert" which focuses on missing children, the Silver Alert focuses on missing adults, over the age of 18, who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and developmental or cognitive impairments, according to the Rockland County Sheriff's Department.
The launch of the system is set to be formally announced Wendesday at the Dr. Robert L. Yeager County Health Complex in Pomona.
Rockland County Legislator Robert Jackson proposed legislature to create the system, which was approved by the County Legislature.
"I am indebted to the Sheriff's Office and local police agencies for their invaluable knowledge to set the framework for the Silver Alert System," said Jackson. "And, without a doubt, to my legislative colleagues, for their support to pass this local law. I am especially grateful to Triad of Rockland for their guidance as well as their dedication to issues surrounding the safety and wellbeing of senior citizens."
Triad is a partnership of local police agencies and senior citizen organizations and is committed to the purpose of reducing senior victimization through education, training and involvement.
"The Silver Alert will provide wide-spread notification and result, in most instances, in a swift and happy reunion," Jackson said.
Louis Falco, chief of the Sheriff's Police Division, said the program is free and to participate a family member, care facility or guardian would be required to complete and submit a Silver Alert Registry Form. This form is available at any Rockland County police department or at the Sheriff's Police Division at the Sheriff's Headquarters in New CIty.
"Time is of the essence when a person goes missing," Falco said. "I encourage all caregivers to assist law enforcement throughout Rockland County with locating your loved ones with these intellectual impairments and to take the time to register those in their care."