Governor Pedro Pierluisi today signed House Bill 339 into law, which establishes the “Enabling Law to implement the Ashanti Alert Plan”, which will be activated expeditiously by the Police Bureau in cases of adults over 18 years of age who have disappeared and whose security is compromised, including kidnapping.
Although the Police Bureau will be the primary agency responsible for operating the alert plan, the protocol will include the municipal police, the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP), the Bureau of Emergency Management and Disaster Administration, as well as any other state, federal, municipal public entity, private companies and the media.
“This chamber project was presented by 15 representatives of all the delegations and unanimously endorsed at the time of the vote, showing that there are more things that unite us. Hopefully this Ashanti Alert will never have to be implemented, but if necessary, it is a step in the right direction, “said Pierluisi, who at the time of signing the bill was accompanied by the president of the House of Representatives, Rafael Hernández Montañez , the president of the Senate, José Luis Dalmau Santiago as well as the representatives Jocelyne Rodríguez, Lissie Burgos, Wanda del Valle and the author of the measure Edgardo Feliciano.
The Police Bureau will create a division to attend to this and all the different alerts.
In the case of the Ashanti alert, the police entity activate the protocol and issue the alert when the person over 18 years of age could be understood to be missing or kidnapped.
Also, when the citizen who alerts the Police about the disappearance of another person proves the conditions and circumstances for which said person is disappeared or has been kidnapped, that he suffers a mental disability, among other criteria.
In addition, the Bureau will assess whether the circumstances surrounding the possible kidnapping or disappearance of the person indicate that the person is in danger of death or receiving serious bodily harm and will determine whether activating the alert plan may be of greater risk to the person.
The alert, which it will be emitted with a distinctive sound and should read ‘This is an Ashanti alert for a missing or abducted person’, it will be disseminated as soon as possible and repeatedly following the guidelines of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
For its part, the DTOP will make available electronic posters located on public roads for the issuance of alerts, which will include descriptive information about the missing person and the address of the last place they were seen.
Likewise, they will provide the public with specific information on how to communicate with the authorities.