Missing persons systems in Minnesota, no Silver Alerts

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 10:47 PM CDT
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MOORHEAD, M.N. (Valley News Live) - The search for an 80-year-old Minnesota woman has been called off after she was found dead.

Many are questioning if resources, like a Silver Alert, could make a difference, not just in this case, but for any missing elderly person.

“It draws broader attention than just a social media post or maybe just a basic newscast,” Jessica Schindeldecker with Fargo Police said.

North Dakota does use the Silver Alert system. Just this year, in the cases of Raymond Payne of Dickinson and David Smith of Mandan, both were found after a Silver Alert was issued.

But Moorhead officials say they have other ways of getting their message out.

“One of the first things we are going to be using is our Cass- Clay alerts, which is a new system that used to be referred to as Code Red,” Capt. Deric Swenson with Moorhead Police said. “Another thing we can use locally is a system called IPAWS. How we are using that is it’s a forced push.”

The Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) acts similarly to a Silver Alert, the biggest difference being it is not specific to missing people. It’s used for a variety of messages including gas leaks to weather alerts.

“We don’t necessarily have the title of Silver Alert, but we have the resources to be able to blast those messages out to the public regionally and throughout the state,” Swenson said.

Back in 2016, a study was done in Minnesota to see if there was a need for Silver Alert.

It was recommended that the state continue to use existing missing person systems.

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