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Posts tagged ‘Mark Warner’

4
Oct

Senator Warner Demands Implementation Timeline for Ashanti Alert

Senator Mark Warner has been a tireless champion of missing persons and a strong advocate for implementation of the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018.

In March, Warner wrote to Attorney General William Barr, seeking an update on implementation of Ashanti Alert within the U.S. Department of Justice.

In early April, Warner urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Ashanti Alert program in order to speed its creation and implementation.

In late April, Warner met with the family of Ashanti Billie in Norfolk and urged the Trump administration to take expedited action on the implementation of Ashanti Alert.

In July, Senator Warner met with Deputy Attorney General Katherine Sullivan to discuss steps to implement the Ashanti Alert program within the U.S. Department of Justice. But following the meeting, further implementation was delayed, prompting Warner to increase his criticism of the Justice Department.

“The delayed implementation of this critical public safety program is costing lives,” wrote Warner in his letter. “In our meeting, Ms. Sullivan had shared with me a number of concrete steps she would be taking to speed up implementation, and relayed she understood the importance of getting this alert system up and running in each state. However, in the two months since that meeting, there has been little progress on any of the items we spoke about. As well, the department has subsequently failed to provide my office with any tangible updates or information in follow up emails.”

6
Aug

Senator Mark Warner Meets with Justice Department on Ashanti Alert

After repeated efforts to prompt action, Senator Mark Warner met with Principal Deputy Attorney General Katherine Sullivan on July 29 to discuss implementation of the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018.

Following the meeting, Senator Warner followed up with a letter to memorialize the meeting.

“As I stated during our conversation, I remain strongly committed to monitoring its implementation and ensuring that the network can start saving lives soon. It was heartening to hear that as designated national coordinator, you are committed to swiftly implementing this potentially lifesaving system by working in collaboration with states to ensure that Ashanti Alert systems are established across the country with proper network guidelines,” wrote Sen. Warner.

Warner also contrasted the slow federal response with success in implementing a state-level system to find missing adults. “Last year, Virginia successfully established its own Ashanti Alert system in only three months. Since then, the Commonwealth has sent out a number of alerts, some of which have helped find missing or endangered adults alive in under 24 hours. As we discussed, I believe that the officials in Virginia could provide valuable guidance to you and other states, so I urge you to seek out their guidance regarding this matter,” wrote Sen. Warner.

In March, Warner wrote to Attorney General William Barr, seeking an update on implementation of Ashanti Alert within the U.S. Department of Justice.

In early April, Warner urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Ashanti Alert program in order to speed its creation and implementation.

In late April, Warner met with the family of Ashanti Billie in Norfolk and urged the Trump administration to take expedited action on the implementation of 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.