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Arizona Silver Alert System Expands To Include People With Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities

Starting Friday, Arizona's Silver Alert notification system will now include people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

You’ve likely seen Silver Alert appear on one of those electronic billboards along Phoenix-area freeways. Last March, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation broadening the category of people covered by a Silver Alert.

Law enforcement can now issue a Silver Alert if necessary and we can pull all the resources of first responder agencies across the state together and have a whole new set of tools that can help identify and locate these individuals if they get lost and wonder," said Jon Meyers with the Arc of Arizona, a disability advocacy group.

Meyers says the expansion is lifesaving, especially since individuals with certain intellectual or developmental disabilities have a tendency to wander and too often those incidents lead to injury or death. 

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Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.