March 23, 2011

Manchin Announces National "Silver Alert" Legislation to Keep Seniors Safe

On Day Three of “Our Values, Our Priorities” tour, Manchin focuses on seniors

**Photo Available**

Washington, D.C. — Building off of a successful West Virginia program, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today announced that he will introduce federal legislation to create a National Silver Alert network to help local and regional efforts to search for missing adults.

“The Silver Alert is something we did – and did well – in West Virginia,” Senator Manchin said. “And as I have said all along, part of my pledge to you as your U.S. Senator is to take the commonsense ideas and values of West Virginians and make them work in Washington. When I think about what this country values, keeping our promises to our seniors is one of my highest priorities. That is why I am proud to have been named to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, where I will strongly advocate for commonsense policies that improve our seniors’ quality of life.”

Since then-Governor Manchin signed West Virginia’s Silver Alert into law, every time the alert was activated, the missing individual was located and returned home safely, according to West Virginia State Police. The alert has been used about half a dozen times. The system is modeled after the “Amber Alert” program used to locate missing children.

“The program, in the instances it has been used, has been very successful,” said Sgt. Jerry Dornburg, the Director of Traffic Records for the West Virginia State Police and who also oversees the Silver Alert program.

In light of the ongoing budget negotiations in Washington, Senator Manchin is traveling the state this week and highlighting a discussion of our values and priorities each day: creating jobs, strengthening our families, protecting our seniors, growing small businesses and achieving energy independence. Today’s focus is on caring for America’s seniors. Prior to introducing the National Silver Alert Act, Senator Manchin held a roundtable discussion with seniors. He will also visit the Boone County Senior Center today and make stops in Logan County.

Highlights and themes for the week include:

  • Monday: Creating Jobs: Speech at University of Charleston at 10 a.m. in Charleston
  • Tuesday: Taking Care of our Children and Families: Tour of Head Start Facility, 9:45 a.m. in Dunbar
  • Wednesday: Keeping our Promises to Seniors: Major Legislative Announcement and Roundtable on Seniors Issues, 10:15 a.m. in Charleston
  • Thursday: Supporting Small Businesses: Visits to Main Street in Sutton and Gassaway, “Coffee and Common Sense” Event in Gassaway
  • Friday: Achieving Energy Independence: Visit to the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown and a Town Hall meeting in Fairmont

Senator Manchin holds a roundtable discussion with seniors, and introduces the National Silver Alert Act to aid in local and regional efforts to search for missing adults.