FCC Proposes New Emergency Code to Aid Missing and Endangered Individuals

By worldwidetracers.com Mar 16, 2024

FCC Proposes New Emergency Code

FCC-The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a significant step forward on Thursday by endorsing a proposal aimed at establishing a new emergency alert system tailored to address the pressing issue of missing and endangered individuals, particularly within Indigenous communities and other marginalized groups across the United States.


FCC-This proposed alert system, analogous to the well-known AMBER and Silver alerts, is designed to leverage television, radio, and cellphone networks to swiftly disseminate critical information about missing persons to the public, thereby enhancing the chances of their safe recovery.

FCC-Following the FCC’s decision, the next phase involves soliciting public feedback on the proposal before proceeding with a final vote to integrate the new alert code into the Federal Emergency IPAWS, a crucial platform for disseminating emergency notifications ranging from severe weather warnings to AMBER alerts, operates across all 50 states and US territories.

FCC-This initiative represents the latest federal response to the pervasive issue of missing or murdered Native Americans, an often overlooked crisis that advocates have long argued receives insufficient attention from law enforcement, media outlets, and the general public.

According to data from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, American Indian and Alaska Native individuals constitute a significant proportion of missing and murdered cases in the United States. However, accurately tracking and documenting these cases has been hindered by various challenges, including jurisdictional complexities and inadequate funding and resources for tribal law enforcement agencies.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel underscored the importance of the proposed alert system, emphasizing its potential to raise awareness and facilitate the timely recovery of missing and endangered adults, with a particular focus on Indigenous women and girls who are disproportionately affected by violence and disappearance.

Drawing attention to the acclaimed film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Rosenworcel highlighted the broader historical context of violence against Native women and emphasized the urgent need to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, especially within Tribal communities.

The primary objective of the proposed alert system is to enhance coordination and efficiency across multiple jurisdictions in locating missing individuals.

Loris Taylor, CEO and President of Native Public Media and a member of Arizona’s Hopi Tribe, emphasized the potential of the new alert code to standardize and streamline efforts between law enforcement agencies, emergency responders, and the public in locating missing Indigenous persons. Taylor shared a personal anecdote illustrating the critical need for such a system, recounting how her family struggled to locate a missing uncle in 2013 due to the absence of a rapid alert mechanism.

The proposed alert code aims to address the gap in existing alert systems by targeting missing individuals over the age of 17 who do not meet the criteria for an AMBER alert. Taylor emphasized that while the initiative is national in scope, Indigenous communities face disproportionately high rates of missing persons cases, reflecting broader systemic challenges affecting marginalized populations across the country.

In addition to federal efforts, several states, including California, Colorado, and Washington, have implemented their own alert systems to assist in the search for missing Indigenous individuals. These state-level initiatives complement broader federal actions and underscore the importance of localized responses to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Last fall, the “Not Invisible Act Commission,” a collaborative effort involving Tribal leaders, federal and local authorities, family members of missing and murdered individuals, and survivors, issued a set of recommendations to address the longstanding crisis. Among these recommendations was a call for Congress and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct a study on the feasibility and impact of a national alert system for missing Indigenous people and to allocate additional funding to Tribes to access and utilize existing alert systems like IPAWS.

In response to these recommendations, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Attorney General Merrick Garland reaffirmed their departments’ commitment to working with Tribal leaders to address the crisis. Haaland emphasized the historical underfunding and neglect of violent crimes against Indigenous peoples and underscored the need to allocate resources to combat issues such as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Crisis and human trafficking.

Overall, the FCC’s endorsement of the proposed emergency alert system represents a significant step towards addressing the crisis of missing and endangered individuals, particularly within Indigenous communities. By enhancing coordination, raising awareness, and leveraging existing communication networks, this initiative has the potential to save lives and bring much-needed attention to a longstanding and often overlooked issue facing marginalized populations across the United States.

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