The City of Melrose is pleased to announce a plan to take a proactive approach toward protecting residents, young and old, who suffer from serious cognitive impairments that put them at risk for wandering and getting lost.
Modeled after the Amber Alert Program, the Melrose Alert program is designed to collect specific information about a potential missing person, along with photo identification. This information will be kept on file for immediate use in the event a loved one is reported missing.
“There is nothing more frightening than learning that a child or a loved one has gone missing,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “Children and senior citizens who cannot communicate, or who have cognitive disabilities, are particularly vulnerable. This program will allow the police to immediately communicate the important details about a missing person so that all personnel can be on the alert.”
“Time is of the essence when someone is missing,” said Police Chief Michael Lyle. “With this program, we will already have important information in hand when the call first comes in, and we can distribute it quickly to officers in the field.”
“Seven out of ten Alzheimer’s patients live at home, and 60% will wander or become lost,” said Council on Aging Director Dawn Folopoulos. “This program is an important measure to protect both children and senior citizens.”
The program was developed jointly by the Melrose Police Department and the Council on Aging and is designed to provide rapid response in locating cognitively impaired residents who have been reported missing.
Residents with a loved one (of any age) suffering from a serious cognitive impairment are encouraged to stop by the Council on Aging office (235 W. Foster St.) or the Milano Senior Center (201 W. Foster St.) for a registration form. Registration forms can also be downloaded from www.cityofmelrose.org/alert.