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Posts tagged ‘Ashanti Alert’

11
Feb

Alexandria Resident Praises Senator Warner, Rep. Beyer for Ashanti Alert

Senator Mark Warner and Representative Don Beyer were praised in a recent letter in the Alexandria Gazette Packet for their support of the federal Ashanti Alert Act.
As a conservative who rarely agrees with the votes of our Democrat senators and congressman, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Senators Warner and Kaine and Congressman Beyer for their roles in the bipartisan efforts promoting the Ashanti Alert Act through Congress. President Trump signed it into law on Dec. 31, 2018.

This new law (in case you haven’t heard) is basically the institution of an Amber Alert type of system for adults (aged 18 – 65) who have been reported as missing but are too old for an Amber Alert and too young for a Silver Alert.

The law is named for the beautiful, young victim Ashanti Billie of Norfolk, Va. who went missing in 2017 and was found in North Carolina having been murdered by a stranger. GOP Congressman Scott Taylor (R-VA) met with Ashanti’s family, introduced the bill and moved it through the House of Representatives.

Now that it is law, it could make the difference between life and death for endangered missing persons across our country when implemented. It will also presumably be an important tool in catching criminals who have abducted their victims for nefarious purposes such as rape, murder, or sex trafficking. This new law is a very big deal.

1
Jan

Senator Warner Announces Final Passage of Ashanti Alert Bill

Following the 2018 midterm elections, the United States Senate took up consideration of H.R. 5075, the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018. The bill had been approved by the House of Representatives in September. H.R. 5075 requires the Department of Justice to establish a national communications network, to be known as the Ashanti Alert communications network, to assist regional and local search efforts for certain missing adults.
In the Senate, Senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) introduced S. 3714, a companion Senate bill that was similar to the House Ashanti Alert measure. The Senate measure was then amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and passed unanimously on the Senate floor. The amended Senate bill was then sent back to the House for approval, where it was adopted by a vote of 386 to 2. President Trump signed Ashanti Alert into law on December 31, 2018.
“In the wake of an unspeakable tragedy, Meltony and Brandy Billie did something extraordinary: they channeled grief into a determination that other families would be spared the anguish of losing a loved one like they did Ashanti. Though no one can ever erase their pain, I hope it comforts them now to know that Ashanti’s death will not have been in vain,” said Senator Mark Warner. “Ashanti’s memory will carry on in the lives that will be saved through this new alert system.”
“This law will save lives. It closes a glaring gap in our present alert system. I’m proud to have worked with Senator Mark Warner on the Ashanti Alert Act and championed its quick passage through Congress.  This law will create a real-time alert system for missing adults, providing vital information to first responders and helping save lives,” said Blumenthal.  “Ashanti’s family should be commended for sharing her story, and turning their grief and loss into meaningful action.  Their strength and advocacy will help prevent other families from going through similar tragedies,”said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Sen. Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, teamed up with Sen. Warner on this legislation after hearing from Ashanti’s cousin, Connecticut State Representative Patricia Billie Miller.
11
May

Ashanti Alert Bill Advances in Virginia General Assembly

The Ashanti Alert system for missing adults is making its way through the Virginia General Assembly

In February 2018, the House Appropriations Committee approved legislation proposed by Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) to create an Ashanti Alert. The Virginia Senate approved Ashanti Alert legislation in early March.

The bill, HB 260, creates the the new Virginia Critically Missing Adult Alert Program. Thanks to Ashanti Alert, law enforcement officials will be able to send a local, regional or statewide alert if they believe a missing person has been abducted and the “disappearance poses a credible threat” to the individual’s health and safety. The Ashanti Alerts will go to the media, who then could inform the public to be on the lookout for the missing adult.

Governor Ralph Northam signed the Ashanti Alert bill into law on April 6, 2018.

The need for more aggressive steps to find missing adults is a pressing concern in Virginia. According to the Capital News Service at Virginia Commonwealth University:

More than 240 adults are missing in Virginia, according to the Virginia State Police. In 2016, a fairly typical year, 14 names were added to the list. But last year, the list grew by 39 names — and so far this year, 17 more people in Virginia have gone missing.

Currently, Virginia authorities issue alerts and mobilize search resources only when people of certain ages go missing:

  •  If the person is 17 or younger, the state can issue an Amber Alert or an Endangered Missing Child Media Alert.
  •  If the person is 60 or older, the state can issue a Senior Alert, sometimes called a Silver Alert.

But Virginia hasn’t had an alert system to warn people to look for a missing adult between the ages of 18 and 59 — until now.