Tuesday, September 20, 2005

9/20/05 Let's Watch Utah

Something happened today in Utah that so many of you who have a vested interest in the missing have hoped would occur for a long time.

They have unveiled an Endangered Person Advisory, which is not just for children, but adults, too!

This groundbreaking alert should have made national press, but I only found one news article about it.

The criteria for this alert is as follows:

1. The person is missing under suspicious circumstances.
2. The person may be in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, environment, weather conditions or in the company of a potentially dangerous person.
3. Public information is available that could assist in the safe recovery of the person.
4. The circumstances do not fit the criteria for an AMBER Alert (If they do, immediately follow the protocol to issue an AMBER Alert).

What Happens When an Endangered Person Advisory is Activated?

An entry with information is entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCICC).

All Utah law enforcement agencies are notified through the Utah Criminal Justice Information System (UCJIS).

Broadcasters and media are notified by e-mail.

Thousands of flyers with photos and details will go to businesses throughout Utah and surrounding states.

Ports of Entry inform all of their officers.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is contacted if the person is under the age of 18.

Law enforcement can contact AA Child Is Missing@ to send the advisory to telephones in the area where the person was last seen.


You may read the complete text of the Endangered Person Advisory here:
http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/AL/EndangeredPersonAdvisory.html


I sent a letter to the State of Utah Office of the Attorney General, thanking them for their efforts to aid missing persons of all ages.

My Letter:

Dear Mr. Shurtleff,

I congratulate you on being the first state in the nation that I am aware of to have a missing person advisory that covers children as well as adults. This is a groundbreaking move, and was deserving of much more widespread media attention than received.

Will the general public know, as time goes on, what problems, if any, crop up from its implementation and what successes you have in using it? I know there are concerns raised about the public becoming desensitized to the Amber Alerts.

I do need to make one comment, however, and that concerns the entry under the "What Happens When an Endangered Person Advisory is Activated?" category. The entry is:

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is contacted if the person is under the age of 18.

It should read as follows:

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is contacted if the person is under the age of 21.

The reason for this is that because of Suzanne's Law, a Federal law signed by President Bush as part of the national "Amber Alert" bill on April 30, 2003. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children must now also assist in missing person's cases wherein the missing person is between the ages of 18 and 20 at the time of their disappearance. The only stipulation in those cases is that the request for assistance must come from law enforcement rather than parents or guardians.

Please feel free to verify this information with NCMEC. I ask you to change this entry to reflect federal law, and to extend aid to those families with a missing loved one between the ages of 18-20.

As a vital matter of providing a resource to these families, I'm also going to suggest that you add to this same section:

The National Center for Missing Adults is contacted if the person is age 21 and over.

I am very pleased about this and will make an entry in my blog in this regard. (the link is in my signature.) I'm going to encourage my readers to contact their respective home state, asking if this can be done for missing persons where they live.

Once again, my thanks to the State of Utah Office of the Attorney General.

Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,
Project Jason
www.projectjason.org
Voice for the Missing
http://voice4themissing.blogspot.com/

As stated in my letter, I invite you, the reader, to contact your home state and ask them to implement an Endangered Person Advisory.

Things are improving for our cause, but we still have a long way to go. With each step we take, we come closer to having systems in place that will decrease the number of missing. The faster the reaction, the greater the odds of recovery.

Let's watch Utah now, and see how it works for them, but in the meantime, let's begin efforts in other states.

There's no time to waste, because during the time it took you to read this entry, several more people disappeared.

Don't think it can't happen to you or someone you love. That's what I thought.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dawn said...

Kelly,

This is the most exciting thing I have read in months! I will definitely be keeping my eyes on this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I have already contacted my DA and added the info to our website. Thank you!

Dawn

5:38 AM  
Blogger Kelly Jolkowski said...

Thank you, Dawn.

We need more activists like you. After the fact, it's too late. YOu understand that more than most of us.

Kelly

1:16 PM  

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