Bill S7235-2013

Relates to the development of a statewide missing person locator system

Relates to the development of a statewide missing person locator system; provides that such system utilize radiodetermination technology.

Details

Actions

  • May 21, 2014: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • May 7, 2014: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Meetings

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities - May 21, 2014
Ayes (10): Carlucci, Ball, Bonacic, Felder, Hannon, Seward, Tkaczyk, Krueger, Latimer, Rivera
Ayes W/R (1): Zeldin

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7235

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, the elder law, the public health law, and the executive law, in relation to the establishment of a statewide vulnerable person location system

PURPOSE:

To develop a statewide missing person locator system.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill is the legislative intent and acknowledges the tragedy where Avonte Oguendo wandered away from his school never to be found alive and states that the legislation shall be known as "Avonte's Law."

Section 2 amends the mental hygiene law section 5.05, by adding a new subdivision (f) to provide that:

1. The commissioners of the office of mental health and the office for people with developmental disabilities are authorized and instructed to form rules and regulations and take all necessary steps to establish a missing person locator program, to be implemented in every county in the state.

2. The program will make available to all vulnerable or aging persons within their care at cost, upon request personally or through an agent, parent or guardian, a personal locator device to be placed on such individual and used in conjunction with the statewide missing person locator system developed by the state police pursuant to section 837-f-2 of the executive law.

3. The state shall provide full payment or a subsidy for any individual who cannot afford to pay for such locator device.

Section 3 amends the elder law section 202 by adding two new subdivisions 16 and 17 to:

1. Make available to all vulnerable or aging persons within the care of the office for the aging or within the care of a private facility subject to the provisions of this chapter, at cost, upon request personally or through an agent, parent or guardian, a personal locator device to be placed on such individual and used in conjunction with the statewide missing person locator system developed by the state police pursuant to section 837-f-2 of the executive law.

2. Require the state to provide full payment or a subsidy for any individual who cannot afford such device.

Section 4 amends the public health law section 206, by adding a new subdivision to provide that:

1. The commissioner shall make available to all vulnerable or aging persons within their care at costs upon request personally or through an agent, parent or guardian, a personal locator device to be placed on such individual and use in conjunction with the statewide missing

person locator system developed by the state police pursuant to section 837-f-2 of the executive law.

2. The state shall provide full payment or a subsidy for any individual who cannot afford to pay for such device.

Section 5 of the bill amends the executive law by adding a new section 837-f-2 to provide that:

1. The state police are authorized and instructed to promulgate rules and regulations and take all necessary actions towards implementing a statewide locator program that will facilitate the location of lost vulnerable or aging persons.

2. The program shall be implemented in conjunction with all local law enforcement agencies and the state shall make the necessary locator equipment available in every county of the state either through the state police, or in cooperation with county and/or local law enforcement agencies.

3. The state police or local law enforcement agency shall, at cost to the recipient, provide a personal locator device to any department, office or agency that is involved in the care and/or housing of a vulnerable aging person or to any private vulnerable or aging individual.

4. The state shall provide full payment or a subsidy for any individual who cannot afford to pay for such locator device.

5. The locator device used in conjunction with this program must rely on the use of radio determination technology.

6. The state police or other law enforcement shall approve and designate private organizations that they authorize to disseminate such locator bracelets or devices for use by aging or vulnerable individuals.

Section 6 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Wandering poses a significant danger for the at-risk population including the elderly who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease and those with autism. Time is a critical factor in locating these individuals and helping to ensure their safe return.

The tragedy where Avonte Oquendo wandered away from his school never to be found alive highlights the urgency to find ways to protect the most vulnerable individuals in our state and to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening again.

A statewide program designed to make it easier to locate missing vulnerable persons is one such mechanism to achieve this goal.

Individuals who participate in these programs are given a device, which can be worn around the wrist, ankle, or clipped onto belt loops or shoelaces, that gives off an individualized signal. If the person

goes missing, caregivers notify the local participating agency prompting a unit of specially trained officers to respond. One such program. Indicates that the average recovery time is approximately 30 minutes.

Programs that enable law enforcement agencies to locate at risk populations are operating in over 45 states. More than 25 local law enforcement agencies in New York State participate in such a program. In addition, Westchester County adopted a program approximately five years ago and has successfully used the technology eight times.

Wandering knows no geographical boundaries. All local systems should be either uniform or compatible throughout the state. In addition, the state's purchasing power will help reduce the cost of the necessary devices and systems.

Implementing a statewide program to help locate missing vulnerable persons will save lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

The cost to implement and run the program will depend on the number of law enforcement agencies and individuals that participate. Each personal locator device costs approximately $100. The equipment used to locate a missing person costs approximately $2,500.

In addition, personnel costs for local law enforcement agencies may decrease, as searches that could otherwise last days, weeks or even months may be completed in as little as 30 minutes.

Moreover, in response to the introduction of the federal Avonte's Law by Senator Chuck Schumer, the Justice Department has agreed to make $10,000,000 available to local law enforcement agencies or qualified organizations to provide locator devices for children with Autism as well as training. This is in addition to funds available from the Justice Department's current Alzheimer's program that assists in locating individuals with Alzheimer's disease that are missing.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment, and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date is hereby authorized to be made on or before such effective date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7235 IN SENATE May 7, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop- mental Disabilities AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, the elder law, the public health law, and the executive law, in relation to the establishment of a statewide vulnerable person location system THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds that the tragedy where Avonte Oquendo wandered away from his school never to be found alive highlights the continuing need to find ways to protect the most vulnerable individuals in our state and to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening again. The legislature further finds that a state-wide program designed to make it easier to locate missing vulner- able persons is one such mechanism to achieve this goal. Therefore, the legislature finds it appropriate to enact legislation herein to be known as "Avonte's Law". S 2. Section 5.05 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new subdivision (f) to read as follows: (F) THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH AND THE OFFICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND INSTRUCTED TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND TAKE ALL STEPS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH A MISSING PERSON LOCATOR PROGRAM, TO BE IMPLE- MENTED IN EVERY COUNTY IN THE STATE, THAT WILL MAKE AVAILABLE TO ALL VULNERABLE OR AGING PERSONS WITHIN THEIR CARE AT COST, UPON REQUEST PERSONALLY OR THROUGH AN AGENT, PARENT OR GUARDIAN, A PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE TO BE PLACED ON SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE STATEWIDE MISSING PERSON LOCATOR SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY THE STATE POLICE PURSUANT TO SECTION 837-F-2 OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW. THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE. S 3. Section 202 of the elder law is amended by adding two new subdi- visions 16 and 17 to read as follows:
16. TO MAKE AVAILABLE TO ALL VULNERABLE OR AGING PERSONS WITHIN THEIR CARE AT COST, UPON REQUEST PERSONALLY OR THROUGH AN AGENT, PARENT OR GUARDIAN, A PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE TO BE PLACED ON SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE STATEWIDE MISSING PERSON LOCATOR SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY THE STATE POLICE PURSUANT TO SECTION 837-F-2 OF THE EXECU- TIVE LAW. THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVID- UAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE. 17. TO MAKE AVAILABLE TO ALL VULNERABLE OR AGING PERSONS WITHIN THE CARE OF A PRIVATE FACILITY THAT IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER AT COST, UPON REQUEST PERSONALLY OR THROUGH AN AGENT, PARENT OR GUARDIAN, A PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE TO BE PLACED ON SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE STATEWIDE MISSING PERSON LOCATOR SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY THE STATE POLICE PURSUANT TO SECTION 837-F-2 OF THE EXECU- TIVE LAW. THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVID- UAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE. S 4. Section 206 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 29 to read as follows: 29. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO ALL VULNERABLE OR AGING PERSONS WITHIN THEIR CARE AT COST, UPON REQUEST PERSONALLY OR THROUGH AN AGENT, PARENT OR GUARDIAN, A PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE TO BE PLACED ON SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE STATEWIDE MISSING PERSON LOCATOR SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY THE STATE POLICE PURSUANT TO SECTION 837-F-2 OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW. THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE. S 5. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 837-f-2 to read as follows: S 837-F-2. STATEWIDE MISSING PERSON LOCATOR SYSTEM. 1. THE STATE POLICE ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND INSTRUCTED TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND TAKE ALL STEPS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT A STATE- WIDE LOCATOR PROGRAM THAT WILL FACILITATE THE LOCATION OF LOST VULNER- ABLE OR AGING PERSONS. THE PROGRAM SHALL BE IMPLEMENTED IN CONJUNCTION WITH ALL LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND THE STATE SHALL MAKE AVAIL- ABLE IN EVERY COUNTY OF THE STATE EITHER THROUGH THE STATE POLICE, OR IN COOPERATION WITH COUNTY AND/OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, THE NECESSARY LOCATOR EQUIPMENT. 2. THE STATE POLICE OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY SHALL, AT COST TO THE RECIPIENT, PROVIDE A BRACELET OR SIMILAR PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE TO ANY DEPARTMENT, OFFICE, OR AGENCY THAT IS INVOLVED IN THE CARE AND/OR HOUSING OF A VULNERABLE OR AGING PERSON. THE STATE POLICE SHALL ALSO MAKE SUCH LOCATOR DEVICES AVAILABLE, AT COST, TO ANY PRIVATE VULNERABLE OR AGING INDIVIDUAL. THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE. 3. THE LOCATOR DEVICE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THIS PROGRAM MUST RELY UPON THE USE OF RADIODETERMINATION TECHNOLOGY RATHER THAN A GLOBAL POSI- TIONING SYSTEM OR SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM. 4. THE STATE POLICE OR OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT, SHALL APPROVE AND DESIG- NATE PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS WHO ARE AUTHORIZED TO DISSEMINATE SUCH LOCA- TOR BRACELETS OR DEVICES FOR USE BY AGING OR VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS. S 6. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amend- ment, and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date is hereby authorized to be made on or before such effective date.

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