PRESIDENT SIGNS LAW CREATING THE “ASHANTI ALERT” FOR MISSING ADULTS
President Trump signed the “Ashanti Alert” Act on December 31, 2018, that allows alerts for missing adults between the ages of 18 and 64. Police will be able to send the Ashanti Alert to notify broadcasters and activate electronic road signs. The alert instructs the U.S. Attorney General to appoint a national Ashanti Alert Coordinator to establish alert systems and develop voluntary guidelines. The alert is named after Ashanti Billie, who was 19 when she disappeared in December 2017. She was too old for an AMBER Alert and too young for a Silver Alert. Her body was found two weeks after she went missing.
RECOMMENDATIONS MADE TO SAFEGUARD NATIONAL EMERGENCY ALERTS
The false missile alert in Hawaii in 2018 has prompted federal officials to take steps to make sure a similar mistake doesn’t happen again. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security is recommending two changes in the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS): 1) require state and local alerting authorities to implement new emergency alert software; and 2) mandate new training requirements for state, tribal and territorial alerting authorities. Both requirements are to be put in place by October 31, 2019.
HOUSTON AMBER ALERT COORDINATOR HONORED BY THE FBI
The FBI honored Houston Regional AMBER Alert Coordinator Beth Alberts with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award in May. Alberts is also the CEO of the Texas Center for the Missing. “Ms. Alberts is an invaluable partner to those of us in law enforcement, and to the families for whom she brings closure,” said Perrye K. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Houston Field Office.
LYFT DRIVER RETURNS TWO CHILDREN AFTER BEING THREATENED WITH AN AMBER ALERT
An Oakland, California, Lyft driver allegedly left a mother stranded at a car dealership and drove off with her five- and six-year-old daughters. The driver was gone for 15 minutes and didn’t return until the dealership manager called him and threatened to request an AMBER Alert. The mother is now suing Lyft for the 2017 incident.