Senate Passes Skelos' "amber Alert" Legislation

Dean G. Skelos

June 13, 2005

The New York State Senate gave final legislative passage today to a bill, sponsored by Senator Dean Skelos (R, Rockville Centre), that would help every community in the state implement Amber Alert plans to respond immediately to missing child reports.

"When a child is missing, every second counts and a prompt response can make a potentially life saving difference," Senator Skelos said. "This bill would direct the Division of Criminal Justice Services to provide localities with the information, training and assistance necessary to implement Amber Alert plans, with the goal of having the best response plans effective in every community in the state."

Under current law, the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is only required to provide local governments and police departments with information and assistance about the Amber Alert program. This bill (S.5470) would expand the requirements by directing DCJS to help communities implement and operate the response plans with the goal of helping to implement Amber Alert plans in every jurisdiction in New York.

The Amber Alert program was established by state law in 2002 to create a system of prompt media alerts in cases where children are missing so that abducted persons can be quickly identified and rescued. It has a proven track record around the nation of preventing child abduction and apprehending perpetrators.

The bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.