Silver Alert

What is a Silver Alert?

The purpose of the Silver Alert program is to establish a quick response system designed to issue and coordinate alerts following the unexplained or suspicious disappearance of an elderly person, or a person who is developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired. The goal of a Silver Alert is to provide immediate information to the public about the missing person, including images or descriptions and the time and location last seen to speed the process to locate the person and return them to safety.

Silver Alert Criteria


In accordance with Government Code 8594.10, the Silver Alert system will be coordinated by the California Highway Patrol. Upon activation of a Silver Alert, the California Highway Patrol will assist the investigating law enforcement agency by activating changeable message signs, issuing be-on-the-lookout alerts, sending Emergency Digital Information Service Messages and posting electronic flyers.

A Silver Alert will not be initiated by the California Highway Patrol unless it meets all the following criteria:

  • The missing person is 65 years of age or older, developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired.

  • The investigating agency has utilized all available local resources.

  • The law enforcement agency determines that the person has gone missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances.

  • The law enforcement agency believes that the person is in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, environment or weather conditions, that the person is in the company of a potentially dangerous person, or that there are other factors indicating that the person may be in peril.

  • There is information available that, if disseminated to the public, could assist in the safe recovery of the missing person.

California Highway Patrol Resources


  • Be-On-The-Lookout (BOLO) BOLOs will be issued/broadcast by CHP Communication Centers to CHP personnel located in the affected areas. BOLOs will contain suspect, victim, and vehicle information, if available.

  • Emergency Digital Information Service provides local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies with a direct computer link to media outlets and other law enforcement agencies. Standard EDIS text messages can be sent via the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS).

  • APBnet This is an image-based system linking state, county, and local law enforcement. APBnet can capture and immediately distribute color photographs and images to law enforcement agencies, the media, and other organizations. The system can also forward information via fax to businesses, hospitals, schools, the media, and agencies without an APBnet system.


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