Wisconsin’s Silver Alert program is already successful in its first two months of operation. That’s according to Joseph Libowsky from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which administers the program.
Libowsky says the Silver alert program helps find people that are usually lost and alone. “When we created the Silver Alert program, the easiest way to explain it is it’s very similar to the Amber Alert program, but it’s for vulnerable, generally elderly people. I think because they were familiar with the Amber Alert program, they were more than willing to jump on board.”
The Silver Alert program utilizes several ways to get the message out to the public, including radio and television, electronic media, and a network of businesses. Since beginning seven weeks ago, the program has been used often. “The Silver Alert program in Wisconsin became active on August 1st. We have had six Silver Alerts go out and four of those people have been safely recovered. Two of those individuals are still missing.”
One resource most people may not realize is the department’s partnership with the Wisconsin Lottery. Silver Alerts including photos will appear on lottery terminals, and store clerks have to acknowledge the alert before they are allowed to perform a customer transaction. Libowsky says that tool recently found a Brookfield man. “The alert was sent out through a variety of channels including the lottery, and it just so happened that the missing individual, Mr. (Patrick) Looby went into a gas station to ask for directions back to Brookfield, and literally about ten minutes later, the Silver Alert came out. A clerk recognized him and called police.”
Looby was found less than two hours after being spotted. “Thirty minutes later, he walked into a grocery store where they had just seen the Silver Alert. They recognized him while he was in the grocery store. They called police and he was safely recovered.”
Individuals and businesses can received emails, texts, and faxes for Silver Alerts and Amber Alerts for free. The information is available on their website. The two people that remain missing are Ms. Nejay Redd from Madison and Mr. Robert Osborn from Oak Creek.