Accusing state authorities of responding slowly to child abductions, local Assemblyman Pedro Nava announced a bundle of new bills yesterday that he says will allow police to quickly find kidnapped children.
Nava’s proposals include the creation of an abduction task force in the California Attorney General’s office and the establishment of statewide guidelines for local police departments to follow when investigating cases. The new laws would also require the state to issue specially colored driver licenses to convicted sex offenders.
Nava (D-Santa Barbara) said state police are not able to move fast enough to catch child abductors in the minutes and hours after kids are reported missing. He said unsystematic procedures between departments often hinder the search for suspects.
“Every police department across the state has their own policy,” Nava said. “Consequently, there is no consistent approach, so you get different results.”
Nava said his proposals would unify state departments to develop a more efficient abduction prevention program.
“Working with law enforcement, it would make a checklist for what works and what is more successful,” Nava said.
The new legislation was announced yesterday at a rally in Long Beach as part of National Missing Children’s Day. Attendees heard from speakers such as Moe Dubois, father of Amber Dubois, a young girl who was kidnapped and brutally murdered in February 2009. Detectives spent over a year finding Amber’s body before a court convicted her attacker of murder.
Nava, who authored the new legislation in conjunction with Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley), said Moe Dubois personally requested that the two work on the new laws.
“What happened is the father of Dubois asked us to work together,” Nava said. “He and his wife have spent the last year doing research.”