Cedar Falls Sen. Danielson to propose Cousins' Law in 2013 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls Sen. Danielson to propose Cousins' Law in 2013


Shortly after Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins were abducted, many people raised concerns over how long it took to get word out to the public.

Out of that concern came a petition for the Cousins' Law, calling for a statewide alert -- and fast reaction -- whenever a child is missing.

"We believe the lessons learned that we've all experienced painfully in the Cedar Valley can be applied to making it better in the future," said State Sen. Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls.

Danielson is planning to introduce a bill in the 2013 legislative session addressing the way the public is alerted to missing children -- making things consistent statewide, and utilizing all social media platforms.

"We want it to be partnership-oriented," he said. "We want to work with law enforcement. We want to engage the public who are now using the social media tools on a daily, if not hourly, basis."

A new law won't bring the girls back, he noted. But it will honor their memory, and possibly prevent another tragic loss.

"We want the memory of the cousins to live on forever, because they deserve that," Danielson said. "We also want to make sure whatever public policy we can change as a result of this experience will hopefully prevent it from ever happening in the future."

Danielson said Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management is very interested in his proposed bill. The office has already approached the senator about a statewide alert system already in use in some communities.

Danielson added the bill he ultimately files, and hopes to pass, will not look exactly like the current Cousins' Law petition. He says it will be added to and improved after he submits it for consideration at the statehouse.

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