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Activists push for Ashanti Alert in New York

Posted at 12:04 AM, Jun 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-26 00:06:15-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dominque Calhoun, a community activist in Buffalo, wants New York State to adopt the National Ashanti Alert Network.

The network fills the gaps for missing person notifications. If a person over the age of 17 is missing and in immediate distress, an Ashanti Alert would put out, like an Amber Alert for children. She says something like this could have been beneficial when Tiara Lott went missing in Buffalo, earlier this year.

“I think it would have helped extremely. It may have helped possibly catch her killer sooner on, as he still is roaming the streets and uncaught,” said Calhoun.

The national network was signed into law but former president Donald Trump, in late 2018.

The Ashanti Network is not in full effect throughout the country, yet. States must opt into the network's pilot program. Calhoun hopes that is something New York lawmakers will consider.

She's created a petition asking lawmakers to enter the state into the program.

"It’s really up to our lawmakers,” said Calhoun. “Now is the time.”

The Ashanti Alert network is named after Ashanti Billie, a 19-year-old who was abducted and killed in Virginia in 2017.