Illinois law enforcement will now get new training on how they can help people find loved ones with dementia who go missing.
According to Illinois State Police, 2,500 officers will receive new curriculum which includes warning signs to look for and procedures for activating a search.
According to a news release, 60 percent of Alzheimer's will wander at some point during their diagnosis.
"It's important to educate the general public about this new program," Erna Colborn, Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter Executive and Region 9 Leader said. "There are 220,000 people in Illinois living with Alzheimer's disease. I am so thankful to the Silver Search Task force for coming together and putting the safety of Illinois' most vulnerable citizens first."
The new "Silver Search" campaign includes:
- Informational cards that will also be distributed to every officer in Illinois.
- The public will also be trained on what to look for though radio and television PSAs, billboards, and social media marketing campaigns in both English and Spanish.
- When applicable, Illinois State Police will activate the Endangered Missing Person Advisory. This advisory will alert the public through IDOT highway signs and Illinois Lottery Terminals in addition to the Silver Search website and social media channels.
"In any missing person case, time is of the essence. Nowhere is that more evident than situations where persons with Alzheimer's or dementia go missing," Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz said. "The Silver Search program provides an avenue for a quick and efficient reaction to these types
of high-risk situations. This program is a game changer by enhancing the tools that law enforcement can utilize to return this endangered population home safely."
Participating members of this task force are: Alzheimer's Association, Illinois State Police, Illinois Toll Highway Authority, Illinois Broadcasters Association, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Department on Aging, Illinois Department of Transportation, AARP, Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, Illinois Secretary of State, and Illinois Lottery.
For more: www.silversearchillinois.org