July 14, 2008
Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) today helped lead the House debate on key legislation to assist in locating missing children and identifying victims of violent crime. The A Child Is Missing Alert and Recovery Program Act (H.R. 5464) and the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5057) both passed the House with Chabot’s full support.
“With more than 2,000 children going missing each day, we cannot be vigilant enough when it comes to protecting our kids,” said Congressman Chabot, an original cosponsor of the A Child Is Missing Alert and Recovery Program Act and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Missing and Exploited Children.
Specifically, H.R. 5464 directs the Attorney General to make annual grants to the A Child Is Missing Alert and Recovery Center to assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in recovering missing children, teens and the elderly. When local police report a person is missing, ACIM gathers all pertinent information about the missing subject and provides rapid telephone alerts to the surrounding community. Congressman Chabot recently joined Patrolman Jeff Kilby of the Norwood Police Department, and Sherry Friedlander, the Founder/CEO of the non-profit A Child is Missing, to encourage more local communities to participate in the A Child Is Missing alert program.
Chabot is also a cosponsor of H.R. 5057, a bill that extends the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program through fiscal year 2014. This important program provides state and local governments with grants to perform DNA forensic testing on evidence that is used to help solve violent crimes. Chabot was pleased that the bill was amended to allow funds to be used to identify the more than 40,000 sets of victims’ remains sitting in the offices of coroners and law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Chabot has been a leader in Congress on issues involving missing persons and unidentified remains. He has worked closely with Debra Culberson of Blanchester, Ohio, whose daughter Carrie Culberson was murdered in 1996. Although her former boyfriend was convicted of the murder, Carrie’s remains have not been recovered. Chabot and Debra Culberson have worked to provide law enforcement with effective tools to help solve missing persons cases. In 2004, Chabot successfully passed legislation that requires states and local communities that receive federal funding for DNA testing to report test results for unidentified remains to a nationwide database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Earlier this year, the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. honored Congressman Chabot with the Empty Shoe Award for his longstanding work in on behalf of victims of crime.