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Update: The Assembly passed the bill unanimously on Feb. 13.

People with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease may soon get some added protection under a bill that seeks to create a state-wide alert system for missing adults.

Lawmakers in the state Assembly will vote on a bill that would create a statewide Silver Alert, a notification that would allow the Department of Justice to broadcast alerts for missing at-risk adults.

Rep. Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin) proposed the bill, which is slated for a vote on Feb. 13. The proposal allows the DOJ to issue the alert over the Crime Alert Network

“The Silver Alert is a crucial step forward to protect at risk adults with cognitive impairments.  This bill has the potential to save lives,” Skowronski said. “I am proud that this legislation is the first bill that I have authored as a state representative.”

Skowronski said the need for the alert is underscored knowing that 60 percent of adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s will “at some point wander.” This creates an increased potential for “life threatening harm” if the person isn’t found within 24-hours, according to a press release.

“With Wisconsin’s harsh weather, it is imperative to find adults who have wandered away as soon as possible,” Skowronski said.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.