Wausau Pilot & Review

Wisconsin will implement wireless emergency alerts for some missing seniors in the state, according to a Wisconsin Dept. of Justice news release.

Silver Alert

A wireless emergency alert, or WEA, will be issued for a Silver Alert case if the missing person is on foot and has been missing for less than 24 hours. The WEA will broadcast in a 5-mile radius of where he or she was last seen between the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

This criteria allows for the WEA to target a specific group of people in the area where the missing person is likely to be located. If you happen to locate the subject of a Silver Alert, call 911 immediately to report his or her location and be sure to make note of their clothing and direction of travel.

A Wisconsin Silver Alert is an emergency notification, requested by law enforcement, sent state-wide during an investigation for a mission person who fits a specific criteria, according to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin. In order for a Silver Alert to be issued:

  • The subject must be over age 60.
  • The subject is believed to have Alzheimer’s, dementia.
  • The subject is believed to have a permanent cognitive impairment that poses a threat to the individual’s health and safety.
  • There must be reason to believe that the subject’s disappearance is due to their impaired cognitive condition.
  • The request for a Silver Alert must be made within 72 hours of the subject’s disappearance.
  • There must be sufficient information available to disseminate that could assist in locating the subject.

“Wireless Emergency Alerts are a valuable tool for getting information out to people in an affected area as quickly as possible,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Acting Administrator Greg Engle. “Using this targeted technology to help get the message out about Silver Alerts could help save lives.”

If your loved one goes missing the first thing you should do is alert your local police department. You can also reach out to Wisconsin Department of Justice Silver Alert program at 608-266-1671.

“Wisconsin DOJ and law enforcement agencies across the state are committed to locating people who’ve gone missing,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, in a news release sent Tuesdau. “This enhancement to the Silver Alert program will allow us to make more people aware that they may be able to help bring someone nearby and on foot to safety.”