Senator Golden & Colleagues Applaud Final Passage of “Gold Alert”

Martin J. Golden

June 17, 2011

System Would Help Find Missing and Vulnerable Adults

Albany - State Senator Marty Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), the former Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, joined his colleagues in the New York State Senate in giving final passage of legislation that expands an existing alert system to help locate missing vulnerable adults. The “Gold Alert” bill (S.3293B), sponsored by Senator John A/ DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse), creates a system to help authorities get proper notifications, coordinate resources, and investigate incidents where individuals, such as those with illnesses or disabilities, go missing.

If signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the bill would use the “Amber Alert” infrastructure, which is already in place, to disseminate information about missing vulnerable adults through a statewide system, using a variety of resources, including television and radio stations, posters, highway message signs, New York State Thruway Authority services areas, e-mail alerts, and the Internet, in hopes of engaging the public in finding leads to locate the missing individual.

Senator Marty Golden stated: “This legislation will address what has become an alarming problem for the vulnerable adult community in New York. On a number of occasions in recent memory, adults with diminished capacities have wandered incredible distances from their homes, traversing danger along the way. Thankfully, the majority of these stories have ended happily, but if we as lawmakers are not vigilant this may not always be the case.” Golden continued, “I applaud Senator DeFrancisco for drafting legislation that would do much to avoid tragedies befalling New York’s vulnerable adults and their families.”

“It is critical that we enact a quick and effective way to help find and safely return adults who go missing from their residences,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos. “The Gold Alert system will expand upon Amber Alerts to engage the public and law enforcement in finding individuals with impaired cognitive abilities who may be unable to return home on their own.”

By enacting this law, New York would join several other states, including Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas, in taking steps to assist families of cognitively impaired adults with locating their missing loved ones.

The bill will be sent to the Governor.