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Posts tagged ‘Ashanti Alert’

27
Apr

Senator Mark Warner Meets With Family of Ashanti Billie

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) met with the family of Ashanti Billie to continue his effort to prompt the Trump administration to implement a new, nationwide Ashanti Alert for missing persons.

In a press conference in Norfolk, Senator Warner met with Brandy Billie, Ashanti’s mother. In September 2017, Ashanti Billie was abducted from a military base in Virginia Beach, and her body was found a week and a half later in Charlotte, North Carolina. Retired Navy veteran Eric Brian Brown stands accused of Billie’s kidnapping and murder. Ashanti’s death inspired the passage of the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018, creating a national alert system for missing adults not covered by Amber or Silver Alerts.

Even though it can’t save our daughter’s life any longer, it could still help save your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend, your loved one,” said Brandy Billie, Ashanti’s mother.

The Ashanti Alert is already active on the state level, but Warner says its been delayed on the federal level by a lack of urgency from the Department of Justice.

In a press conference today, Warner said he recently sent a letter to the D.O.J. asking what the status was of the implementation of the alert.  He says answer he received was not satisfactory.

“It’s a bureacratic letter that doesn’t answer my direct questions of give us a timeline, give us when we’re going to have the outreach,” said Warner.  “They have named a coordinator so I will give them that, but there needs to be a sense of urgency and that sense of urgency is missing.”

The press conference is the latest in a series of steps taken by Senator Warner to pressure the Trump administration into action. In March 2019, Warner wrote to Attorney General William Barr seeking answers from the Department of Justice about the lack of progress in implementing the Ashanti Alert program.

11
Apr

Senator Mark Warner Urges Full Funding and Implementation of Ashanti Alert

Two United States Senators, Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) have urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund a new federal office to find missing adults.

In a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senators Warner and Blumenthal write “it is imperative that the Ashanti Alert Act receives sufficient funding in order to advance its goals of transforming the lives and safety of Americans. Fully funding this program ensures that the Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies, and relevant entities and stakeholders have the necessary resources to make the Ashanti Alert network as helpful and effective as possible.”

The Ashanti Alert Act requires the Department of Justice to establish a national communications network, named the Ashanti Alert, to assist regional and local search efforts for certain missing adults. Under the new law, the Attorney General must designate a national coordinator to work with states to establish Ashanti Alert systems and to develop voluntary guidelines that states (as well as territories) should use in creating their networks.

President Donald Trump signed the Ashanti Alert Act into law in December 2018. But to date, the U.S. Department of Justice has not made an effort to implement the law. In March, Senator Warner wrote to Attorney General William Barr seeking an update on the implementation of Ashanti Alert at the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

 

23
Mar

Senator Mark Warner Seeks Update from Trump Administration on Ashanti Alert

Senator Mark Warner has written to Attorney General William Barr, seeking an update about how the U.S. Department of Justice is establishing the Ashanti Alert system.

“It has now been more than two months since the Ashanti Alert Act was signed into law, and I continue to consult with stakeholders who are eager to make progress in implementing this new network so we can start saving lives,” said Sen. Warner. “I remain strongly committed to the Ashanti Alert Act and plan to actively monitor its implementation to ensure that the Department, law enforcement agencies, and relevant entities and stakeholders can work together to make the Ashanti Alert network as helpful and effective as possible.”

In December, Congress passed legislation sponsored by Senator Warner, the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018. The new law requires the Department of Justice to establish a national communications network, named the Ashanti Alert, to assist regional and local search efforts for certain missing adults. Under the new law, the Attorney General must designate a national coordinator to work with states to establish Ashanti Alert systems and to develop voluntary guidelines that states (as well as territories) should use in creating their networks.