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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

South Florida's first "Silver Alert" ends happily

October 16, 2008
Bilirakis Blog

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has the story...

 "South Florida's first "Silver Alert" ended happily Wednesday when an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer's disease was found safe in Miami-Dade County.

The new alert system, which helps find missing and endangered people generally over the age of 60, has now been used twice successfully in Florida in its first week. A third alert was issued in North Florida Wednesday night.

William Thomas Hall, 86, who lives west of Boynton Beach, was found Wednesday morning by a Miami-Dade County corrections officer after Hall crashed his car near the jail Wednesday morning. Though the alert took longer to activate than some advocates prefer, he was unharmed and reunited with his wife that afternoon.

"I was thrilled to death," said his wife, Delores Hall. "Honestly I didn't think I would see him again."

She took her husband to a medical office in the 500 block of South Federal Highway in Boynton Beach Tuesday morning for routine blood work. She waited inside for him for about 30 minutes, got worried and started asking around. She then noticed her husband and their car were gone. She called police about 9:30 a.m.

Because William Hall was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease and was in a vehicle, he fit the criteria for a full-scale Silver Alert."

Gus has been a leading advocate for federal legislation which would national grant program to help U.S. states and territories establish ‘Silver Alert’ notification systems. On October 8th, Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed an executive order which enacted a Silver Alert program for the state. Similar to Amber Alerts, which publicize cases involving missing and endangered children, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement sends out Silver Alerts to law enforcement agencies and media organizations to notify the public. And if, as in William Hall's case, the person goes missing in a vehicle, the state will flash alerts on electronic billboards along major highways.

To Learn about Gus' federal legislative efforts on behalf of seniors and view the Senior Citizens' Resource Page click here.


Related Information:


Florida's Silver Alert Plan

Silver Alert Grant Program Resource Page