Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Proposes Expansion of Tracking Program to Include Individuals with Autism

As the search for Avonte Oquendo reached one month yesterday, Avonte’s older brother Danny posted the following message on the Find Avonte Facebook page “Let us all please work hard on searching for and spreading the awareness about my little brother. Nothing would make me more thankful than to see him at our dinner table for Thanksgiving.”

Danny was not the only one speaking out about Avonte yesterday. As the New York Daily News reported, New York senator Chuck Schumer proposed expanding a program currently in place for individuals with Alzheimers to include individuals with autism. The program, which places tracking devices on the clothing of high-risk individuals, is currently in place in Massachusetts and would be run by the police department.

CBS News Local reported Schumer explaining “A parent interested in such a device could simply go to their local police precinct and apply for one,” Schumer said. “No parent who doesn’t want to participate has to.”

Similar programs do exist in areas such as Clarkstown Heights, New York. However, they are extremely costly. Devices funded by local governments would make keeping track of high-risk individuals with autism more affordable. CBS News Local reported the Senator explaining, “While we may think that a GPS can only be used to track down cars and iPhones, it can also be used for other important ends,” Schumer said. “Especially in the hustle and bustle of a city like New York the devices are crucial.”

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By: Stephanie Millman