(a) The Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety shall establish a “Silver Alert” program authorizing the broadcast media, upon notice from the State Police, to broadcast an alert to inform the public of a missing cognitively impaired person or a missing senior citizen, subject to the criteria established in section four of this article. The program shall be a voluntary, cooperative effort between state law-enforcement and the broadcast media.
(b) As used in this article:
(1) “Cognitively impaired” means a person having a deficiency in his or her short-term or long-term memory, orientation as to person, place, and time, deductive or abstract reasoning, or judgment as it relates to safety: Provided, That the cognitive impairment is not caused by the use of alcohol or drugs not legally prescribed by a physician; and
(2) “Senior citizen” means a person over sixty-five years of age.
(c) The secretary shall notify the broadcast media serving the State of West Virginia of the establishment of “Silver Alert” program and invite their voluntary participation.
(d) The secretary shall submit a plan to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance no later than December 1, 2009. The plan shall include “Silver Alert” activation protocols, evaluation of first responder training requirements and needs as related to cognitively impaired persons and senior citizens, coordination and utilization of established programs and analysis of any costs. The secretary shall also make recommendations for any additional legislation or actions necessary to further facilitate the implementation of the “Silver Alert” program.