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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Black Tie International:
Governor Scott Signs Silver Alert Bill

Florida State Representative Joseph Abruzzo, Florida State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Sydney and Blanche Lanier

Florida State Representative Joseph Abruzzo, Florida State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Sydney and Blanche Lanier


Governor Scott Signs Silver Alert Bill

Legislation to Benefit Florida’s Cognitively Impaired Citizens




(West Palm Beach, FL- June 30, 2011) – Governor Rick Scott has signed the legislation that officially makes the Silver Alert Program part of the Florida’s Missing Endangered Persons Law, a result of an executive order in 2008 which directed the implementation of the program.  Florida’s Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Representative Joseph Abruzzo exhibited outstanding leadership in sponsoring the bill which resulted with both bodies passing the legislation unanimously.  This demonstrates Florida’s administrative branch and legislature working in a bi-partisan manner for the benefit and welfare of Florida’s most fragile and vulnerable populations that presently number over 502,000.  “This legislation has become an act of love, and without question, is one of our shining hours within this legislative session,” stated Senator Benacquisto.  “This legislation was most important for our state because of our high incidence of Floridians suffering with brain disorders that cause dementia and this law enables our society to compassionately assist them when they are at high risk and in harm’s way,” said Representative Joseph Abruzzo.


The Silver Alert Plan evolved into a program through two years of intense work by the Florida Silver Alert Support Committee which has 16 organizations and agencies as its membership.  They were united to provide a coordinated and standardized response system between local and state law enforcement to quickly and effectively broadcast important information to the community, including radio broadcasts and dynamic message signs posted along major roadways, when a cognitively impaired driver becomes lost.  The program is administered though the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in partnership with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, The Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and local law enforcement agencies.  Since its inception, the Florida Silver Alert Program has directly been responsible for saving 43 lives and the list continues to grow.  “To have such a young program save one life makes it worthwhile, but to have saved so many, demonstrates its importance and for that all of us are very gratified,” stated Gerald Bailey, Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


Mary M. Barnes, Chair of the Florida Silver Alert Committee and CEO of Alzheimer’s Community Care stated, “On behalf of the committee, the legislative sponsors, the law enforcement community, and most importantly, our highest risk citizens of Florida, we are elated that this day is finally here.  By signing the Silver Alert Bill into law, Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature sent a strong message that individuals with cognitive impairment are valued and that there is a safety net for them in Florida.  This law depicts not only that we talk the talk, but it demonstrates that we also walk the walk for rescuing Alzheimer’s families when these dangers present themselves”.


For more information on the Florida Silver Alert Program, visit and learn more about its working details and who serves on the Silver Alert Support Committee.



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