Monday, April 25, 2011

RIT Friends of George DeLany Successfully Lobby Senator Schumer's Support of Billy's Law

We at Peace4 the Missing along with the family of Billy Smolinski extend our deeply heartfelt gratitude towards George Delaney, whose life has propelled so many others to pick up this cause and successfully encourage Senator Schumer to support Billy's Law.  We are so very humbled and moved by all of you.

Schumer Announces Support For "Billy's Law"

By WKBW News, April 25, 2011 Updated Apr 25, 2011 at 2:57 PM EDT  

Schumer Announces Support For "Billy's Law"

WASHINGTON, DC (release) Monday, United States Senator Charles E. Schumer announced his support for legislation called "Billy's Law," also known as Help Find the Missing Act, to close loopholes in our national missing persons systems.

Schumer has sponsored this legislation in the past, and his co-sponsorship this Congress comes in the wake of the recent death of George Delaney, a Rochester Institute of Technology student. When George Delany went missing on March 12th, RIT faculty and students joined with law enforcement and the community to search for him.

This week they wrote to Senator Schumer in support of Billy’s Law, after experiencing firsthand the gaps in our national missing person response system. Schumer states that the enactment of Billy’s Law will provide law enforcement officials with the tools and resources it needs to better conduct the search for missing adults.

“George Delany’s death is a tragedy for Rochester and all of New York,” said Schumer. “And, what is even more difficult to believe are the loopholes in our national missing persons system. Just as we provide law enforcement with tools like the Amber alert and access to missing person databases when children are missing, we should not tolerate delays and lapses in information when people over the age of 18, like George Delany, are missing. Billy’s Law would provide the critical tools and alerts to law enforcement officials that are essential in the search of missing adults. What’s more, Billy’s Law seeks to bring our national missing persons databases into the 21st century, creating a central resource for officials and families that are so desperately trying to locate their loved ones.”

Students Finding George DeLany

RIT professor Paloma Capanna, along with a dozen RIT students who were personally involved in the search for George wrote to Senator Schumer in support of this legislation stating, “Our support for this [legislation] comes from our personal experience with our classmate and friend, George Delany. At least two college students go missing every week. And, nationwide, more than 20,000 persons are reported missing each year. The federal government should intervene to ensure that any barriers to participation in and access to all available databases are eliminated, including supplements for any fees that may be prohibitive within county budgets.”

Billy’s Law would authorize the National Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), which was created in July 2007 by the Department of Justice (DOJ), to provide a missing persons/unidentified database that the public could access and contribute to. The law would connect NamUs with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in order to create more comprehensive missing persons and unidentified remains databases and streamlining the reporting process for local law enforcement. Billy’s Law would expand current law by requiring missing children be reported to NamUs in addition to NCIC, and would create a grant program to help states, local law enforcement and medical examiners report missing persons and unidentified remains to NCIC, NamUs, and the National DNA Index System (NDIS). And, finally Billy’s Law requires the DOJ issue guidelines and best practices on handling missing persons and unidentified remains cases in order to empower law enforcement, medical examiners and coroners to help find the missing.

Billy’s Law is named after Billy Smolinski of Waterbury, Connecticut who went missing on August 24, 2004 at the age of 31. Billy’s family quickly learned that while federal law mandates law enforcement report missing children, there are no such requirements for adults – or unidentified bodies. Compounding this problem is the fact that local law enforcement agencies, medical examiners, and coroners, often don’t have the resources or training to voluntarily report these cases. Finally, even when missing adults and remains are reported, the wide-range of unconnected federal, state, local, and non-profit databases to help match the missing with unidentified bodies, makes finding a match an often insurmountable challenge.

Continue reading:

Who is Billy?

To find out more about how and Billy's Law greatly benefits families of the missing please go to the following link ...

Peace4 the Missing
A voice platform and support network for those with missing loved ones and victims of crime
http://peace4missing.ning. com/
Peace4's Facebook Page ges/Peace4-the-Missing/114 101641947