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Congressman Taylor and Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Ashanti Alert Act

February 16, 2018
Press Release
Contact: Scott Weldon (202) 225-4215

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-02), joined by Representatives Lamar Smith (TX-21), David Cicilline (RI-01), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) introduced 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. 

"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.

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.

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