State Police Explain Difference Between Silver, Amber Alerts - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

State Police Explain Difference Between Silver, Amber Alerts

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Shawna Ann Way    Courtesy: State Police Shawna Ann Way Courtesy: State Police

On Monday the state police issued a Silver Alert for Shawna Way, 14, who disappeared from the Briarview Apartments.

The police said Way is mentally impaired, which is part of the criteria for a Silver Alert.

"A Silver Alert basically entails someone who is cognitively impaired, being entered into a system that's similar to an Amber Alert," said Lieutenant David Reider with the West Virginia State Police.

There are many criteria to meet to when categorizing someone as "cognitively impaired."

"There are three criteria: basically it entails someone who has short or long term memory loss, they have deficiency as it relates to orientation with time, person or place, or they have impairment as it relates to judgment or safety issues," Reider said.

Lieutenant Reider said if someone is in danger, and doesn't meet the Amber Alert criteria, a Silver Alert can be used.

Whether it's an Amber Alert or a Silver Alert, a process must be followed.

"Those can be entered by local law enforcement, city, county, or state. It must be entered into the Amber Alert or Silver Alert system through the state police after the subject is entered into the NCIC. Once that happens there is a notification process that happens through our headquarters in Charleston. They make a determination and then the Amber or Silver Alert is put out," said Reider.

Reider said there is something important for parents to remember.

"We need to closely monitor our children and what they are doing on their gaming systems, their computers, their cell phones, because there are people that don't live in our community who have access to our children. They're coming here every day, and that kind of thing is not what we want," said Reider.

 For more information on Amber Alerts, click here.