RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed the 'Ashanti Alert' bill into law Thursday.
Known as the “Ashanti Alert Act,” the bill would act as an AMBER Alert type of system to help local and regional law enforcement efforts in finding people who are between the ages of 19 and 65.
"I was proud to sign this legislation, which will help us keep more people safe by mobilizing every available resource in the event that a person who is too old for an AMBER Alert and too young for a Silver Alert goes missing. Virginians send their leaders to Richmond to solve real problems and that's what this bill does," said Governor Ralph Northam after signing the bill.
The bill was created in honor and recognition of Ashanti Billie and those who have gone missing under similar circumstances.
Introduced by Delegate Jerrauld “Jay” Jones, this bill would allow for law enforcement to more easily use media outlets such as commercial radio stations, television stations, and cable television – to broadcast information about missing persons. The law enforcement agency that is investigating the case would have the authority and decision to make the alert.
Before being signed by Governor Northam, the bill passed unanimously in the Virginia Senate with a vote of 40-0.