BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 643


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          Date of Hearing:  April 21, 2015


                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON AGING AND LONG-TERM CARE


                                 Cheryl Brown, Chair


          AB 643  
          Nazarian - As Amended April 8, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Emergency services: Silver Alerts.


          SUMMARY:  Authorizes the use of changeable message signs for  
          Silver Alerts when certain criteria are met.  Specifically, this  
          bill:  


          1)Allows the California Department of Highway Patrol to activate  
            messages on changeable message signs located throughout the  
            state on major routes when a law enforcement agency determines  
            that a Silver Alert subject may be in a vehicle, and specific  
            information about that vehicle is available for public  
            dissemination.  


          EXISTING LAW:  





          1)Federal law establishes the Emergency Alert System (EAS), a  
            national public warning system that requires broadcasters,  
            cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite  
            digital audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast  








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            satellite providers, that enables the President to address the  
            American public during a national emergency.  Federal law  
            permits state and local authorities to use the system to  
            deliver other important emergency information.  



          2)State law authorizes "Amber Alerts," a program designed to aid  
            in the recovery of an abducted child or an individual with a  
            proven mental or physical disability, and requires the  
            California Highway Patrol (CHP), in consultation with others,  
            to develop policies and procedures to instruct agencies how to  
            carry out an Amber Alert.  





          3)State law authorizes "Blue Alerts," a quick response system  
            designed to issue and coordinate alerts when a law enforcement  
            officer has been killed or is seriously injured.  





          4)State law authorizes a Silver Alert notification system,  
            designed to issue and coordinate alerts if a person that is  
            age 65 years or older, developmentally disabled, or  
            cognitively impaired is missing, and all the following  
            conditions have been met:





             a)   The missing person is aged 65 or older, developmentally  
               disabled, or cognitively impaired;









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             b)   The law enforcement agency has used all available local  
               resources to locate the missing person;



             c)   The person has gone missing under unexplained or  
               suspicious circumstances;



             d)   The missing person is believed to be in danger because  
               of health or weather conditions, or in the company of  
               dangerous people; and,



             e)   It has been determined that the public dissemination of  
               information may lead to a safe recovery of the missing  
               person.  



          5)Directs CHP, upon activation of a Silver Alert, to issue a  
            be-on-the-lookout alert, an Emergency Digital Information  
            Service message, and/or electronic flyer.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.


          COMMENTS:  


          Author's Statement:  "AB 643 expands the Silver Alert program to  
          also activate an alert via Changeable Message Signs (CMS).  CMS  
          effectively displays safety and traffic information to the  
          public utilizing California highways.  The alert will reach  








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          millions of motorists and will ensure that California is taking  
          all possible measures in aiding with the safe return of a  
          missing person."


          


          Background on Silver Alerts:  California has the largest number  
          of seniors, age 65 or older, in the nation currently at 5.1  
          million, and due to the Silver Tsunami, that number is expected  
          to climb to 9 million by 2030.  When a senior goes missing and  
          has been determined by law enforcement to be in danger (for  
          example, a senior with Alzheimer's disease who has wandered away  
          from home), California uses a uniform alert system to help with  
          recovery.  Such conditions often have the effect of leaving  
          victims disoriented and confused.  It is estimated that over  
          five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, and 60 percent  
          of these persons are likely to wander from their homes.  The  
          Alzheimer's Foundation of America states that 50 percent of such  
          wanderers risk illness, injury, or death if not located within  
          24 hours.  Missing seniors must be found quickly because they  
          have a 50 percent greater chance of serious injury or death when  
          they've been missing over 24 hours, due to exposure and lack of  
          much needed medications.  





          The Silver Alert program is deployed differently than the Amber  
          Alert and Blue Alert programs because it deploys:





          1)Be-On-The-Lookout (BOLO) announcements (which contain suspect,  
            victim, and vehicle information) that are broadcast by CHP  








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            communication centers to CHP personnel located in the affected  
            geographic areas.  



          2)Emergency Digital Information Services which provides local,  
            state, and federal law enforcement agencies with a direct  
            computer link to media outlets and other law enforcement  
            agencies.  





          3)APBnet, an image-based system operated by a non-profit  
            organization that links state, county, and local law  
            enforcement.  The system captures, then immediately  
            distributes color photographs and images to law enforcement  
            agencies, the media, and other organizations.  





          California supports 790 changeable message signs on major state  
          highways subject to both federal and California policies.  These  
          regulations generally limit the use of changeable message signs  
          to traffic operations and guidance information.  Additionally,  
          the signs are used for Amber Alerts and Blue Alerts.  





          Support:  The California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association,  
          an organization that represents the local, professional  
          Long-Term Care Ombudsmans describes "wandering," "elopements,"  
          and "being lost" as a high-risk behavior that will impact about  
          6 in 10 older people with dementia.  It is not always possible  








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          to predict when a senior is going to wander, so having safety  
          protocols in place to reduce the amount of time that a senior  
          spends lost, is vital to their well-being.  





          Opposition:  None.





          Dual Referral:  AB 643 was heard by the Assembly Transportation  
          Committee on April 6. 2015 and passed unanimously, with no  
          abstentions.  





          Prior Legislation:  





          SB 839 (Runner), Chapter 311, Statutes of 2010, required the  
          CHP, at the request of an authorized person at a law enforcement  
          agency, to activate the EAS and issue a "blue alert", as  
          defined, if a law enforcement officer has been killed, suffers  
          serious bodily injury, or is assaulted with a deadly weapon, the  
          suspect has fled the scene of the offense, and other specified  
          conditions are met.  












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          SB 1047 (Alquist), Chapter 651, Statutes of 2012, authorized the  
          "Silver Alert Program" to provide public alerts when an older  
          adult has been reported missing and the law enforcement agency  
          determines that public dissemination of an alert would  
          contribute the individual's safe return.  





          SB 38 (Alquist), of the 2009-10 Legislative Session, called for  
          the development of a missing senior person alert on or before  
          January 1, 2011.  SB 38 was held on the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee's Suspense File.  





          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support

          California Senior Legislature - Sponsor


          American Silver Alert Coalition


          Alzheimer's Association


          The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration










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          Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA)


          California Assisted Living Association (CALA)


          California College and University Police Chiefs Association


          California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association (CLTCOA)


          Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)


          Congress of California Seniors


          County of San Diego




          Opposition

          None on file.




          Analysis Prepared by:Robert MacLaughlin / AGING & L.T.C. / (916)  
          319-3990















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