By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
The United States Senate unanimously passed the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018, a bill that could help find missing adults.
Similar to the Amber Alerts issued for missing children, the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018, is aimed at notifying the authorities and public about adults ages 18-64 who have disappeared without a clear trace.
The Ashanti Alert system, named after Prince George’s County native Ashanti Billie, which could be used to find missing adults, passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate.
The legislation is in honor of Prince George’s County native Ashanti Billie, 19, who disappeared from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Hampton Roads, Va. on Sept. 18, 2017. The 19-year-old was found dead in North Carolina two weeks later.
While Eric Brown, a Navy veteran, was charged in her abduction and murder after her body was found, Billie’s parents think the outcome could have been different had there been some sort of alert issued for their daughter.
“We don’t want any family to ever have to experience this,” Meltony Billie said according to WTOP.
“Ashanti Billie, who at 19 years old, kind of fell through the cracks of our system,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
Since Billie’s abduction and murder, the state of Virginia has created similar legislation in hopes of avoiding tragedies like in the case of Billie.
If this new legislation makes it through the House of Representatives, then to the oval office and receives President Donald Trump’s signature, police will now be able to alert the public using radio, television and even street signs.
The Senate even laid out in the legislation the need for educating, “broadcasters, first responders, dispatchers, public safety communications personnel and radio station personnel,” on how to use and disseminate the system.
In addition, the legislation warns against overusing the system.
Billie’s parents are hopeful the legislation will pass officially in the House and to the President to save other families and keep their daughter’s memory alive.
“Every time we see an Ashanti Alert, it’s going to be kind of like a hug from her, coming to us,” said her mother Brandy Billie.