MOUNT PLEASANT, TX (KLTV) - When an Alzheimer's patient disappears, every minute counts, especially with the conditions we have experienced this week. A new program, used in a few East Texas police departments, is cutting the critical time factor drastically.
Searches for missing elderly people are often slow to start.
"It takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 or 3 hours just to figure out who they are," explained Sergeant Sean Booth, with Mount Pleasant Police.
But the Silver List database, Booth's brainchild, should change this.
"We get the information from elderly people that have dementia, Alzheimer's illnesses like that," said Booth. "We can contact our dispatch they can look on this list and if they're there we can immediately contact a family member."
Photographs, vehicles, friends, places they might visit, medical history and every last detail would be available at a moment's notice for search teams.
"And, sometimes, they're pretty sick and they need medical attention right then," said Booth. "If they're already on our list, it takes us two seconds to get that information out to other agencies surrounding agencies instead of taking an hour."
And, the implementation of the program could not be more timely. With frigid weather setting in there is a chance of exposure, hypothermia and low body temperature, and time could mean somebody's life.
"Especially with the weather coming up like it is," said Booth. "It will be real important to get that information in here, that way, if something does occur it won't take us long to act on it."
The list was helpful in locating a missing person in Titus County a few months ago, proof Sergeant Booth says it works.
If you would like more information about what you need to register a family member on the Silver List, you can call the Mount Pleasant Police Department.