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District of Columbia Silver Alert Program Announced!

On Friday, May 10th, Mayor Gray announced a new public-safety initiative to aid in the location of vulnerable missing seniors: the District of Columbia Silver Alert Program. 

 “By implementing The Silver Alert, we join many other large cities that have helped implement this tool for locating missing seniors,” Mayor Gray said. “When family members and loved ones report their loved ones missing to MPD, they can be assured that the resources of the government, including a coordinated alert system modeled after the Amber Alert, will be available to locate missing elderly residents.”

The Silver Alert Program, led by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), will coordinate the response among other District government agencies – including the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMA), the Office on Aging (DCOA), and the Maryland, Delaware and District of Columbia Broadcasters Association (MDCD) – to promptly identify and locate seniors 65 years of age and older who are reported as missing in the District. 

  • HSEMA serves as the District of Columbia's single point of contact for the District's Emergency Alert Plan as mandated by the District Emergency Response Plan. 
  • The HSEMA shall serve as the backup point of input for the MPDC for the transmittal of information to the broadcasters via the EMnet system or other systems that are part of the DC Emergency Alert Plan.
  • The HSEMA shall assist the MPDC in the dissemination of the Silver Alert information via the following systems:
  • Washington Area Warning System (WAWS) segment of the National Warning System (NAWAS)
  • The Citizens Alert System 
  • The City Wide 700/800 MHz radio system to other agencies using that system
  • The Roam Secure Alert Network information system
  • Pagers, Cell Phone, and E-mail Systems 
  • EMnet
The role of DC-area radio, television and cable broadcasters who volunteer to participate in District's Silver Alert Plan (Participating Broadcasters) is to relay Silver Alerts to the listening and viewing public in strict reliance on the information provided to them by the Silver Alert Coordinator.  The broadcast media voluntarily provides airtime to inform the public that a person meeting the criteria for a Silver Alert is missing in the belief that such information is in the best interest of the community.

Please note that your participation in these Silver Alerts is voluntary.  MDCD suggests that each station consult with its legal counsel prior to deciding to participate in the Silver Alert Plan to fully consider any potential legal implications of such participation.

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