Alabama looks at alert system for missing elderly

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama legislators are trying to set up an emergency notification system for missing elderly people that is similar to the state's Amber Alert system for missing children.

The Senate Health Committee unanimously approved a missing senior citizen bill Wednesday by Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Daphne. A similar bill won approval from a House panel on Feb. 4. The bills now go to the Senate and House for consideration.

Pittman said the bill provides for the state Department of Public Safety to work with the Alabama Broadcasters Association to put out an alert when a senior citizen is missing and is at risk of serious injury or death. He said it would help locate dementia patients who wander away and need lifesaving medication.

Broadcasters Association President Sharon Tinsley said the media already do this on a voluntary basis when contacted by law enforcement, but the legislation would create a formal program.

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