Maryland's Silver Alert Program
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF A LOVED ONE GOES MISSING
- Immediately call 911 and file a missing persons report with your local law enforcement agency.
- Contact Maryland Center for Missing and Unidentified Persons at 1-800-MDS-KIDS (1-800-637-5437) for further assistance.
- Contact the missing person’s friends/relatives for possible information of their whereabouts.
- Contact the missing person’s school/work for information on attendance.
- Determine if your child took any possessions or had access to money.
- If you suspect the computer may possess information about the disappearance, leave the computer untouched and notify the police.
On October 1, 2009, the Silver Alert Program for the State of Maryland was created. The intent of the program is to alert public safety agencies and the general public in instances of an adult, suffering certain cognitive impairments, who has been reported missing. The Alert will help put out information on the missing person in an expeditious manner, aiding in the locating and safe return of the individual.
Criteria To Activate a Silver Alert
Only law enforcement agencies may request the issuance of a Silver Alert. Law enforcement agencies making such requests must first determine that the following criteria exist:
- The missing person is at least 60 years of age, AND
- The missing person suffers a cognitive impairment, including a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia, AND
- The missing person's disappearance poses a credible threat to the health and safety of the individual, AND
- The missing person is traveling in a vehicle and there is enough descriptive information about the missing person and the vehicle for law enforcement to issue an alert, AND
- The investigating agency has already activated a local or regional alert by contacting media outlets in their jurisdiction, AND
- The missing person has been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
§ 3-604. Silver Alert Program.
(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) "Caregiver" means a parent, spouse, guardian, legal custodian, or person responsible for the supervision of another adult.
(3) "Law enforcement agency" means a State, county, or municipal police department or agency, or a sheriff's department.
(4) "Missing person" means an individual:
(i) whose whereabouts are unknown;
(ii) who suffers a cognitive impairment including a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or dementia to the extent that the individual requires assistance from a caregiver; and
(iii) whose disappearance poses a credible threat to the health and safety of the individual due to age, health, mental or physical disability, environment, or weather conditions, as determined by a law enforcement agency.
(1) The Department of State Police shall establish a Silver Alert Program to provide a system for rapid dissemination of information to assist in locating a missing person.
(2) The Department of State Police shall:
(i) adopt guidelines and develop procedures for issuing a Silver Alert for a missing person;
(ii) provide training to local law enforcement agencies on the guidelines and procedures to be used to handle a report of a missing person;
(iii) provide assistance to a local law enforcement agency, as necessary, to assist in the safe recovery of a missing person;
(iv) recruit public and commercial television and radio broadcasters, local volunteer groups, and other members of the public to assist in developing and implementing a Silver Alert;
(v) consult with the State Highway Administration to establish a plan for providing information relevant to a Silver Alert to the public through the dynamic message sign system located across the State; and
(vi) consult with the State Department of Education to develop a program that:
1. allows high school students to assist in the search for a missing person under this section;
2. complies with COMAR 13A.03.02.06; and
3. is consistent with the student service-learning guidelines developed by the State Department of Education.
(c) Notice to local law enforcement agency.- A caregiver or person filing a report regarding a missing person immediately shall notify the local law enforcement agency with which the report was filed and the Department of State Police if:
(1) the missing person who was the subject of the report is located; and
(2) it is unlikely that the local law enforcement agency or the Department of State Police has knowledge that the missing person has been located.