Following in the footsteps of similar legislation in the Virginia General Assembly, Congressman Scott Taylor (R-VA) has introduced federal Ashanti Alert legislation.
The bill, H.R. 5075, the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018, would help local and regional law enforcement efforts to search for missing adults. Modeled after the “Amber Alert”, this legislation would utilize a wide array of media outlets – such as commercial radio stations, television stations, and cable television – to broadcast information about missing persons. The alert applies to persons between the ages of 18 and 65, with the decision to issue the alert made by the law enforcement agency investigating the missing persons report.
H.R. 5075 has the bipartisan support of Representatives Lamar Smith (TX-21), David Cicilline (RI-01), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08).
“Giving law enforcement the similar ability of an Amber alert, but for missing adults will rapidly bring government and public resources to bear,” said Congressman Scott Taylor. “This legislation will, no doubt, save lives and help prevent future tragedies. Sometimes lessons learned come from the worst case scenarios, such as the Ashanti Billie case, but from the dark we can help bring light.”
“I appreciate the efforts by my colleagues to offer this legislation that helps law enforcement to better track missing persons and serve their communities,” stated Congressman Smith.
“The Ashanti Alert Act is a bipartisan, commonsense step to improve public safety. Passing this bill will make it easier to quickly inform the public and law enforcement agencies about people who go missing,” said Cicilline. “I’m proud to be introducing this bill with Congressman Taylor.”
“We already have emergency alert systems to help us locate missing children and senior citizens, but what about missing and endangered adults? This bipartisan proposal gives state and local law enforcement the tools to issue emergency alerts for people between 18 and 65 who go missing. I’m proud to join Congressman Taylor and other colleagues in introducing this legislation that we hope will help our families and save lives,” said Representative Raskin.