Coleman sponsors senior alert bill
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:02 pm
New legislation co-sponsored by state Rep. Kent Coleman to expand the resources available to find missing disabled senior citizens came into effect this July.
The law, HB2941, removes the requirement that medical documentation be provided when a mentally or physically disabled senior citizen goes missing to quickly activate local law enforcement in the search for the missing person.
Coleman is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over civil and criminal law in the state, as well as law enforcement agencies and individual property rights.
“When a disabled elderly person goes missing, his or her friends and family should not be expected to go searching through files and papers for proper documentation before help can be mobilized,” Coleman stated.
“Every hour wasted before the search begins increases the chances of death or serious injury to the missing person. It’s a moral imperative that we expedite the process to the greatest extent possible.”
The law also provides a similar response mechanism for citizens under the age of 60 suffering from medically diagnosed dementia. It encourages the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police to develop area-specific protocols on a regional basis for coordination across jurisdictions.
Published in The WCP 7.22.10