Law enforcement officials learn about Missing Adult Alert System
The Missing Adult Alert System is a new program in New York aimed at helping officials locate missing adults with cognitive impairments. Experts are visiting law enforcement agencies across the state to teach them how to best use the system. Our Melissa Kakareka attended a training session in the Southern Tier.
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TOWN OF DICKINSON, N.Y. -- Class was in session for law enforcement officials across the region Tuesday.
"The whole object is to retrain you on what is required to send out that adult amber alert," said Broome County Sheriff David Harder.
Representatives from more than 25 different law enforcement agencies attended a training session for the state's new Missing Adult Alert System.
The program began in October and creates a rapid alert signal for when vulnerable adults with dementia, Alzheimers or other cognitive impairments disappear.
"Really there was nothing out there for adults who suffering from Alzheimers, demensia or even autistic people who are missing and wander away from home," said NYS Missing Persons Clearinghouse Program Manager Cindy Neff.
The system is similar to the amber alert process used when a child disappears.
Law enforcement officials say the new tool increases their chances of finding a missing vulnerable adult.
"The importance is the recovery of the person hopefully alive and not injured. The quicker you can respond to a missing person the better chance of finding that person alive," said Sheriff Harder.
It will also help the public play a larger role when a search is underway.
"It's so important for the public to help. There's so many more people out there that could look so thats the key to the program is getting the public involved," said Neff.