Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill creating a new alert system for seniors who disappear unexpectedly.
Friday's signing of Senate Bill 1097 creates a "Silver Alert" system modeled after Amber Alerts, which notify the public when a child has gone missing. The bill requires the state Department of Public Safety to coordinate emergency alerts for seniors who have gone missing and who are thought to be in danger. Local law enforcement must conduct an exhaustive search before an alert goes public.
There is already a system in place allowing law enforcement agencies to notify the public in cases where a person over age 65 disappears due to health problems through the news media. The new law authorizes DPS to use its emergency alert system to disseminate the information.