This bill — the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018 — would establish an an new national alert network at the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to aid local and regional law enforcement efforts to search for missing adults between the ages of 18-65. This system, which would be called the Ashanti Alert communications network, would use a wide array of media outlets, such as commercial radio stations, television stations, highway billboards, and cable television, to broadcast information about missing persons.
This bill would also set a minimum standard for issuing alerts if the person suffers from a proven mental or physical disability, if law enforcement believes their physical safety is endangered, or if they believe their disappearance may not have been voluntary.
In the current version of this bill, the Ashanti Alert is integrated with the Blue Network instead of AMBER Alerts so that information about missing adults and children are kept separate and to prevent duplication.
An Ashanti Alert Coordinator, who’d be a DOJ employee, would be responsible for:
Working with states to coordinate the development of additional Ashanti Alert plans in the network;
Establishing voluntary guidelines for states to use in developing Ashanti Alert plans that are compatible and integrated with Ashanti Alert plans through the U.S.;
Developing proposed protocols for recovering missing adults, working with states to ensure appropriate regional coordination of the Ashanti Alert network; and
Establishing an advisory board to assist states, local governments, law enforcement agencies, and other entities involved in the Ashanti Alert communications network with initiating, facilitating, and promoting Ashanti Alert plans.
The Ashanti Alert Coordinator would also be responsible for coordinating and consulting with the Secretary of Transportation, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Assistant Secretary for Aging of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS), and other appropriate DOJ offices in coordinating activities to support Ashanti Alerts.
Finally, the Ashanti Alert Coordinator would submit a an annual report to Congress detailing: the states that have established Ashanti Alerts, the states that are in the process of establishing Ashanti Alerts, and information on Ashanti Alert use in each state with Ashanti Alerts.