“The sheriff brought it on about two years ago, and we’ve used it four times,” he said.
With A Child Is Missing, they are able to pull up important GPS information of where a missing person was last seen and, with the help of a call center located in Florida, can send out an automated message to all land-line phones and cellphones in that area requesting that people check their property.
“It’s absolutely helpful. It allows us to eliminate geographical areas. We can reach 4,000 phones in a matter of 15 minutes,” Rissetto said.
The Missing Adult Alert system works in a similar fashion by quickly circulating information about missing people, once a law-enforcement agency determines they are at a credible risk of harm.
After the clearinghouse is notified of a person in possible danger, pertinent information can be spread electronically statewide to police agencies, broadcast media, newspapers, hospitals, Thruway travel plazas and toll booths, airports, bus terminals, train stations and border crossings.
Kava said cognitive disorders, mental disabilities or brain injuries can cause confusion and wandering in affected adults, who are rarely aware they are in danger and may not be able to ask for assistance.
The alert system can be especially beneficial for adults age 80 and older, a segment of the population that is growing rapidly, New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said in a statement.
“The fastest-growing segment of the population is those aged 85 and older. These individuals are also the most at risk for a cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” he said.
“Unfortunately, cognitive impairments can make individuals vulnerable, particularly to wandering. The Missing Adult Alert system provides a crucial safety net for those vulnerable, older individuals who may go missing, by coordinating a statewide search and ensuring that the vulnerable adult is found.”