Effective this month, a new alert system similar to an Amber or Silver alert will be implemented. However, while an Amber alert is aimed at missing children and a Silver alert is used to aid in the search for missing elderly, this new alert system will benefit Veteran’s as well as their families.
“Its camo alert, which is short for camouflage, which everybody can equate to the military,” explains Rio Hondo Police Chief William Bilokury.
According to Bilokury, the Camo alert system will work like Amber and Silver alerts, but it is intended to aid in the search for missing veterans. Specifically those with a mental illnesses, like post-traumatic stress disorder, or a traumatic brain injury.
“If the reporting party feels that the person is a threat to themselves, the goal is to get that person much-needed help. This can involve anything from criminal activity to suicide, and suicide awareness for our service members is really big right now,” Bilokury adds.
Bilokury, who served in the military for 25 years, says its something that hits close to home after three fellow soldiers committed suicide after returning home from deployment.
“I never in a million years would’ve thought this situation would occur with any of them or anyone of them. These were top of the line professional and personal people that had everything going for them, but something in their lives stacked up and made that ultimate decision,” he says.
Bilokury adds that given the large population of veterans living in the Valley, this alert will be helpful.
“This camo alert I think really does make a traumatic difference and increase our ability to take care of our veterans their families and the public,” he says.
The Camo alert will begin as a 5-year pilot program and expire in 2023.