Ramos: Governorís Veto Means No Help for Disoriented Adults

October 3, 2003

Since its institution, the Amber Alert system has been incredibly successful in helping safely track down missing children. To date, itís credited with at least 103 recoveries nationwide. Thatís why itís so disappointing that the governor has vetoed legislation that would have added disoriented adults, such as those suffering from Alzheimerís, to this vital program (A.3507-A).

By coordinating between local law enforcement and the media in the event of a missing or kidnapped child, the system allows authorities to quickly disseminate critical information to the public, empowering citizens to help locate missing persons.

In his veto message, the governor claims that the Amber Alert system is not capable of handling the needs of disoriented adults, and that adding them to the system would somehow affect its ability to help abducted children.

Quite simply, this reasoning is flawed. This is a highly effective system used in New York and across the nation. Itís logical to use it to help all people that are in trouble.

Limiting the potential of this successful program limits our ability to protect our families. The governor has clearly underestimated the publicís strong support for the Amber Alert program and their desire to help locate missing persons. He has made the wrong choice with this veto Ė and unfortunately, itís our most vulnerable citizens who will pay the price.

Iíll keep working in the Assembly to pass this legislation, because I believe our families are too important to be neglected. Providing for our loved ones Ė especially children and seniors Ė and keeping them safe should be at the forefront of New Yorkís priorities, and Iíll keep fighting to make sure it stays there.