Bosley Lauds Passage of Silver Alert Legislation
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E. Bosley, candidate for Berkshire County Sheriff, praised the passage of the Silver Alert Legislation and pledged to make implementation of the law a priority as sheriff. The bill, passed near the end of the formal session this year, establishes a program to assist in locating seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia who have gone missing.
The Silver Alert program would provide for a coordinated approach to locating an individual with dementia. Studies indicate that more than 60 percent of those with dementia wander away from their homes. The bill directs law enforcement and other key response resources to focus on a geographic area consistent with the missing person’s last known location. It requires training for law enforcement and all key responders. This training would be incorporated into present training for emergency personnel.
“This is a vital piece of legislation for seniors,” said Bosley. “It provides peace of mind for families of seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. It gives us a powerful tool to find people in a timely manner, and it saves lives.”
Bosley added,” The Sheriff’s office is integral to the implementation of this new law. The Sheriff is an integral member of the Triad Senior Safety Program. The Triad will be a vital information tool in spreading word of this law. “
Bosley pointed out that there are special considerations with people who suffer from dementia. They may not answer searchers who are looking for them and do not stray far from home. They may look for cover in order to feel safe, making the search for them difficult. “We need to provide information quickly to a smaller geographic area in order to start to search as soon as possible. The Sheriff administers the County Communication Center for 26 communities. Timely information pinpointed to the area where someone is missing is key to our response to a missing person. Our communications center will ensure a swift and accurate response. ”
Bosley also suggested that training should be done through the Sheriff’s department. “Since the office is involved in all of these areas, it makes sense for the Sheriff to take the lead on training emergency personnel and ensuring the safety of our seniors. I was pleased to be able to vote for this law as a legislator and look forward to its implementation as Sheriff.”
Lastly, Bosley pointed to the potential for saving money in cities and towns by putting standard response training and protocols in place. Search efforts without such training and coordination have been known to cost as much as $100,000 according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Approximately 120,000 people in Massachusetts have Alzheimer’s disease with the number expected to increase by 17 percent by the year 2025.