Lawmakers consider 'Silver Alert' system to help find missing seniors

Lawmakers consider 'Silver Alert' system to help find missing seniors »Play Video
Paula Majhor (left) says the Silver Alert system would give her peace of mind because she fears her 90-year-old mother Helen Majhor (right), who has dementia, will wander away.

SALEM, Ore. - State lawmakers are proposing a Silver Alert system to help find missing seniors.

The idea is similar to the Amber Alert system already in place. It would require all police and sheriff's departments in Oregon to adopt a formal policy on how to respond to a case of a missing vulnerable adult.
 

  • The policy would include procedures for conducting a search of a missing adult.
  • Description of the training officers will receive
  • Requirements for accepting missing persons reports
  • Protocols on involving the local media to have the public assist with the search
  • Protocols for coordinating with other agencies

"Wandering is a serious concern for Oregonians living with developmental and other disabilities," State Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, wrote in a Floor Letter of Support. "In these cases, individuals are often seriously injured or killed when they walk into oncoming traffic. When vulnerable adults wander, time is of the essence to find them before they encounter dangerous situations,"

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, is co-chief sponsor of the bill. Her father Bud had dementia.

"One day he wandered away from the yard and fell," Anderson said. "What will be different when this bill passes is that all the police in the cities will have to develop a procedure or policy when someone calls and says they have someone wandering."

Hillsboro resident Paula Majhor says the Silver Alert would give her peace of mind. Majhor is caring for her 90-year-old mother Helen Majhor who suffers from dementia.

"Basically I keep an eye on my mom so that she doesn't walk away. There have been several times where she walked away and we could not find her and we called 911," Majhor said.