ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- Silver Alerts are used throughout the U.S. to share information about missing persons. In particular, senior citizens with Alzheimer's, dementia or other mental disabilities in order to help police find them more quickly. However, law enforcement has struggled in the past to effectively make the public aware of these alerts. One local man is on track to change that.
Jesse Hays of Russellville is trying to develop a new app for Silver Alerts. He hopes this would be a new way for Arkansas residents to receive Silver Alert notifications more quickly on their smartphones.
The goal behind this development is to increase awareness to Arkansas citizens when a Silver Alert has been activated across the area.
Right now in Arkansas, the Silver Alert system is handled by Arkansas State Police. People can sign up for email alerts through their website. However, at this time text notifications are not offered by ASP. Hays said that by having a single app allowing more information to be accessed to a larger number of people could help save lives.
"The more people that those alerts are in front of, the quicker you can make a search team happen," said Hays.
Background information, a picture of the missing person, a vehicle description and the direction the person was last seen traveling in would all be included in the notification on the app.
"I think people want to be involved," Hays said. "They want to know what else they could do. How or what more can be done to get a successful outcome."
Jesse Hays will be going to Little Rock on Wednesday (July 6) to speak with the Alzheimer's Committee at the state capitol to see how they can turn this idea into a beneficial reality.
Another idea Hays will pitch in Little Rock will require government controlled social media accounts to begin sharing Silver Alerts within the first 24 hours of the person going missing.