Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on March 25th, 2014 at 4:25 pm
A Portland advocate for hit-and-run victims is calling for a statewide alert system that would send a text message to thousands of professional drivers and members of the public to help nab suspects.
Kristy Finney, whose son Dustin was killed in 2011 by a man driving drunk on Southeast Division Street, is modeling her proposal on a similar system already in use in Colorado for “cases involving serious injury or death — and when a reliable description of the fleeing vehicle is available.”
Last week, Colorado’s governor signed a statewide rollout of apparently successful pilot programs in Denver and Aurora. Here’s how the so-called “Medina Alert” will work there, according to Denver-based Rocky Mountain PBS:
The legislation instructs the state Department of Public Safety to set up a statewide alert system though television and radio, billboards and text messages whenever police need help locating a car and driver involved in a hit-and-run accident that led to a fatality or serious bodily injury.
The Medina Alert will be comparable to the Amber Alert for missing children.
The program was created by former Denver police officer Larry Stevenson in 2011 and named for Jose Medina, who was killed in 2011 by an hit-and-run driver on his first day of work as a parking valet. A taxicab driver who saw the accident called police and gave them a tip that helped catch the driver.
“The notification goes to all patrol cars, cabdrivers, news outlets, truck drivers and pedicab operators. A message is displayed on traffic reader boards and on Crime Stoppers’ Twitter and Facebook accounts,” adds the Denver Post.