WESTFELD, NJ — Westfield’s town council unanimously and enthusiastically approved a resolution supporting Kevin and Avonte’s law and expressing interest in the Missing Americans Alert Program during its meeting last week.
The idea to create the resolution was brought to the council by resident Lisa Bertone.
Kevin and Avonte’s law, a federal law passed this year, was named for an elementary school student in Iowa and a high school student in New York City, both of whom were autistic and who drowned after wandering away from the safety of home and school. The law expanded the Missing Alzheimer’s Patient Alert program to include children with autism and other developmental disabilities. It was renamed the Missing Americans Alert Program.
The law provides $2 million in grants in 2018 to be used for the development of training and emergency protocols for school officials and first responders, to teach individuals with these conditions personal safety and survival skills and for families and caregivers to purchase locative tracking technology to find individuals who may wander from safety.
According to the resolution, the town of Westfield will apply for the maximum amount of this grant money available to it.
Also according to the resolution, the town of Westfield will review and evaluate any procedures the town currently employs to protect and locate town citizens who are at risk of wandering as identified under the Missing Americans Alert Program.