(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Representatives Scott Taylor (VA-02), Lamar Smith (TX-21), David Cicilline (RI-01), in introducing the bipartisan Ashanti Alert Act, a bill designed to 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.
"By notifying law enforcement of a missing adult, and utilizing the proper information channels, we can save lives and prevent future tragedies from occurring, similar to what happened with Ashanti Billie," said Congressman Scott Taylor. "This bill is about expanding access to emergency alert services that our law enforcement agencies use in the case of a missing child or senior citizen. The parents, children, spouses, and relatives of missing adults need to know that their voices matter, and that we are listening."
"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.
Background: The Ashanti Alert Act is named after 19 year-old Ashanti Billie, who was abducted on September 18 from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Norfolk, Virginia, where she worked.