Bill Text: NY S02257 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Enacts "Lamont Dottin's Law"; relates to reporting duties with respect to missing children and adults; establishes uniform standards for searching for missing persons; expands state databanks to approach not only the problem of missing children but missing adults as well; requires police departments to establish a trained missing person specialist.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-23 - REFERRED TO FINANCE [S02257 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S02257-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          2257
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 23, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sen. SANDERS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to reporting duties  with
          respect to missing children and adults
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
     2  "Lamont Dottin's law".
     3    §  2.  The  executive  law is amended by adding a new section 838-c to
     4  read as follows:
     5    § 838-c. Plans for prompt and  uniform  standards  for  searching  for
     6  missing  persons.  1.  In consultation with the division of state police
     7  and other appropriate agencies, the division shall, on or before January
     8  first, two thousand twenty, adopt and implement and thereafter regularly
     9  update a uniform plan for searching for missing persons. Such plan shall
    10  involve a pro-active, coordinated response, planned in advance, that  is
    11  triggered immediately upon confirmation by a police officer, peace offi-
    12  cer or police agency of a report of a missing person.
    13    2. Such plans shall, at the minimum, require that:
    14    (a)  the  name  of the missing person, a description of the person and
    15  other pertinent information be immediately dispatched  over  the  police
    16  communication system to local, state and national agencies; and
    17    (b)  there  shall  be  no presumption that persons between the ages of
    18  nineteen and sixty-four are not missing.
    19    3. Police agencies not connected with the basic  police  communication
    20  system  in  use  in such jurisdiction shall transmit such information to
    21  the nearest or most convenient teletypewriter point, from which point it
    22  shall be immediately dispatched, in conformity with the orders, rules or
    23  regulations governing the system.
    24    4. No dispatch or transmission of a report concerning missing  persons
    25  shall  be  required  by such plan if the investigating police department
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD06344-01-9

        S. 2257                             2
     1  determines that the release of such  information  would  jeopardize  the
     2  investigation  or  the  safety  of  the  person,  or  otherwise requests
     3  forbearance.
     4    §  3.  Section  837-f of the executive law, as added by chapter 880 of
     5  the laws of 1986, subdivision 10-a as added by chapter 600 of  the  laws
     6  of  1997,  subdivision 12 as amended by chapter 579 of the laws of 1997,
     7  subdivision 14 as amended by chapter 381 of the laws of 2004  and  para-
     8  graph  (c)  of  subdivision  14 as amended by chapter 348 of the laws of
     9  2005, is amended to read as follows:
    10    § 837-f. Missing and exploited [children] persons clearinghouse. There
    11  is hereby established within the division a missing and exploited [chil-
    12  dren] persons clearinghouse to provide a comprehensive  and  coordinated
    13  approach to the tragic problems of missing and exploited children and of
    14  missing  adults.  In addition to the activities of the statewide central
    15  register for missing  [children]  persons,  the  commissioner  shall  be
    16  authorized to:
    17    1.  Plan  and  implement  programs to ensure the most effective use of
    18  federal, state and local resources in the investigation of  all  missing
    19  and exploited [children] people;
    20    2.  Exchange  information  and resources with other states, and within
    21  New York state, concerning missing and exploited  children  and  missing
    22  adults;
    23    3. Establish a case data base which will include nonidentifying infor-
    24  mation  on  reported  missing children and adults and facts developed in
    25  the phases of a search, and analyze  such  data  for  the  purposes  of:
    26  assisting law enforcement in their current investigations of missing and
    27  exploited   [children]   persons,  developing  prevention  programs  and
    28  increasing understanding of the nature and extent of  the  problem;  and
    29  share  the data and analysis on a regular basis with the National Center
    30  for Missing and Exploited Children;
    31    4. Disseminate a directory of resources to assist in the  locating  of
    32  missing children and adults;
    33    5.  Cooperate  with  public  and  private schools and organizations to
    34  develop education and prevention programs concerning  child  safety  for
    35  communities, parents and children;
    36    6.  Provide  assistance in returning recovered children and adults who
    37  are located out-of-state;
    38    7. By January first, nineteen hundred  eighty-seven  arrange  for  the
    39  development  of a curriculum for the training of law enforcement person-
    40  nel investigating cases involving missing and exploited children and  by
    41  January  first,  two  thousand  twenty  arrange for the development of a
    42  curriculum for the training of law enforcement  personnel  investigating
    43  cases involving missing adults;
    44    8.  Assist  federal,  state and local agencies in the investigation of
    45  cases involving missing and exploited  children  and  involving  missing
    46  adults;
    47    9. Utilize available resources to duplicate photographs and posters of
    48  children  and  adults  reported as missing by police and with consent of
    49  parents, guardians  or  others  legally  responsible,  disseminate  this
    50  information throughout the state;
    51    10. Beginning on January first, nineteen hundred eighty-seven, dissem-
    52  inate, on a regular basis, a bulletin containing information on children
    53  in  the  missing  children's  register to the state education department
    54  which shall then forward such  bulletin  to  every  public  and  private
    55  school  where  parents, guardians or others legally responsible for such
    56  children have given consent;

        S. 2257                             3
     1    10-a. (a) By November first, nineteen hundred  ninety-seven  prescribe
     2  general guidelines to enable the state legislature and state agencies to
     3  assist  in the location and recovery of missing children and by November
     4  first, two thousand twenty to assist in the  location  and  recovery  of
     5  missing adults. The guidelines shall provide information relating to:
     6    (i)  the form and manner in which materials and information pertaining
     7  to missing children and missing adults  including  but  not  limited  to
     8  biographical  data  and  pictures,  sketches  or other likenesses may be
     9  included in stationery, newsletters  and  other  written  or  electronic
    10  printings;
    11    (ii) appropriate sources from which such materials and information may
    12  be obtained;
    13    (iii)  the  procedures  by which such materials and information may be
    14  obtained; and
    15    (iv) any other matter the clearinghouse considers appropriate.
    16    (b) By January first, nineteen hundred ninety-eight  arrange  for  the
    17  transmission of biographical information and pictures, sketches or other
    18  likenesses of missing children and by January first, two thousand twenty
    19  of  missing adults to state agencies, departments and the legislature to
    20  use in printings.
    21    11. Operate a toll-free twenty-four hour hotline for the public to use
    22  to relay information concerning missing children and missing adults;
    23    11-a. Along with the  state  legislature  and  state  agencies,  shall
    24  communicate with the families of missing persons, on a consistent basis,
    25  to update them on the search for the missing persons;
    26    12.  Submit an annual report to the governor and legislature regarding
    27  the activities of the clearinghouse  including  statistical  information
    28  involving  reported  cases  of  missing  children  and of missing adults
    29  pursuant to section eight hundred thirty-seven-m of this article  and  a
    30  summary of the division's efforts with respect to the use of monies from
    31  the  missing  and exploited children clearinghouse fund created pursuant
    32  to section ninety-two-w of the state finance law; and
    33    13. Take such  other  steps  as  necessary  to  assist  in  education,
    34  prevention, service provision and investigation of cases involving miss-
    35  ing and exploited children and missing adults.
    36    14.  (a)  In  consultation with the division of state police and other
    37  appropriate agencies, develop,  and  regularly  update  and  distribute,
    38  model  missing  [child]  person  prompt response and notification plans,
    39  which shall be available for use, in their discretion,  as  appropriate,
    40  by  local  communities  and  law enforcement personnel. Such plans shall
    41  involve a pro-active, coordinated response, planned in advance, that may
    42  be promptly triggered by law enforcement personnel upon confirmation  by
    43  a  police officer, peace officer or police agency of a report of a miss-
    44  ing child, as defined in subdivision one of section eight hundred  thir-
    45  ty-seven-e of this article, or any person.
    46    (b) Such plans shall, at a minimum, provide that:
    47    (i)  the  name  of  such  missing [child] person, a description of the
    48  [child]  person  and  other  pertinent  information  may   be   promptly
    49  dispatched over the police communication system, pursuant to subdivision
    50  three of section two hundred twenty-one of this chapter;
    51    (ii)  such  information  may be immediately provided orally, electron-
    52  ically or by facsimile transmission to one or more  radio  stations  and
    53  other  broadcast  media outlets serving the community including, but not
    54  limited to, those which have voluntarily agreed, in advance, to promptly
    55  notify other such radio stations and other broadcast  media  outlets  in
    56  like manner;

        S. 2257                             4
     1    (iii)  such information may be immediately provided by electronic mail
     2  message to one or more internet service providers and commercial  mobile
     3  service  providers  serving the community including, but not limited to,
     4  those which have voluntarily agreed,  in  advance,  to  promptly  notify
     5  other such internet service providers in like manner;
     6    (iv)  participating  radio  stations and other participating broadcast
     7  media outlets serving the community may voluntarily  agree  to  promptly
     8  broadcast  a  missing  [child]  person alert providing pertinent details
     9  concerning the [child's] person's disappearance, breaking  into  regular
    10  programming where appropriate;
    11    (v)  participating  internet  service  providers and commercial mobile
    12  service providers serving the community may voluntarily agree to prompt-
    13  ly provide by electronic mail message a  missing  [child]  person  alert
    14  providing pertinent details concerning the [child's] person's disappear-
    15  ance;
    16    (vi) police agencies not connected with the basic police communication
    17  system  in use in such jurisdiction may transmit such information to the
    18  nearest or most convenient electronic entry point, from which  point  it
    19  may  be  promptly  dispatched,  in  conformity with the orders, rules or
    20  regulations governing the system; and
    21    (vii) no dispatch or transmission of a  report  concerning  a  missing
    22  [child]  person  shall  be  required  by  such plan if the investigating
    23  police department advises, in its discretion, that the release  of  such
    24  information  may  jeopardize  the  investigation  or  the  safety of the
    25  [child] person, or requests forbearance for any reason.
    26    (c) The commissioner shall also designate a unit within  the  division
    27  that  shall assist law enforcement agencies and representatives of radio
    28  stations,  broadcast  media  outlets,  internet  service  providers  and
    29  commercial  mobile  service  providers in the design, implementation and
    30  improvement of missing [child] person prompt response  and  notification
    31  plans.    Such unit shall make ongoing outreach efforts to local govern-
    32  ment entities and local law enforcement agencies to assist such entities
    33  and agencies in the implementation and operation of such plans with  the
    34  goal  of  implementing and operating such plans in every jurisdiction in
    35  New York state.
    36    (d) The commissioner shall also maintain and make available to  appro-
    37  priate  state  and local law enforcement agencies up-to-date information
    38  concerning technological advances that may assist  in  facilitating  the
    39  recovery  of missing children and missing adults. Such information shall
    40  include, but not be limited to, technology using computer assisted imag-
    41  ing to "age enhance" photographs of missing children and missing adults,
    42  and technology that may be used to  enter  such  photographs  and  other
    43  pertinent  information  concerning  missing  children and missing adults
    44  into a database accessible to appropriate officials and persons.
    45    § 4. Section 837-m of the executive law, as amended by chapter 255  of
    46  the laws of 2014, is amended to read as follows:
    47    §  837-m.  Reporting  duties  [of  law  enforcement  departments] with
    48  respect to missing [children and vulnerable adults] persons.  The  chief
    49  of  every  police department, each county sheriff and the superintendent
    50  of state police, as well as each morgue in  the  state  and  all  pauper
    51  cemeteries,  which  shall  also  be  required  to establish and maintain
    52  computerized data on all identified  and  non-identified  bodies,  shall
    53  report,  at  least semi-annually, to the division with respect to speci-
    54  fied cases of missing [children] persons that  are  closed  as  well  as
    55  information  on  all unidentified bodies.   Such reports shall be in the
    56  form and manner prescribed by the division and shall contain such infor-

        S. 2257                             5
     1  mation as the division deems necessary including, but  not  limited  to,
     2  information  regarding  recovered  [children] persons who were arrested,
     3  [children] persons who were the victims of criminal activity or  exploi-
     4  tation  and  [children]  persons who were found deceased and information
     5  regarding the alleged abductor or killer  of  such  [children]  persons.
     6  Any  law  enforcement department referred to in this section may, in its
     7  discretion, include in such semi-annual reports information relating  to
     8  missing  vulnerable  adults  as  such  term  is defined in section eight
     9  hundred thirty-seven-f-one of this article.
    10    Police departments shall establish a trained missing person specialist
    11  who would:
    12    (i) immediately meet with the family of any person reported missing;
    13    (ii) provide training for all officers who receive federal specialized
    14  missing persons training (REMAC); and
    15    (iii) work in close conjunction with the department's  missing  person
    16  unit.
    17    §  5.  This act shall take effect immediately, except that section two
    18  of this act shall take effect on the first of  January  next  succeeding
    19  the  date  upon  which  it shall have become a law, and provided further
    20  that the division of criminal justice services is immediately authorized
    21  to take any and all actions necessary to assure  the  implementation  of
    22  the provisions of this act by such effective dates.
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