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Missing and Endangered Persons Event Code is Urgent Need

The commemoration of Women’s History Month brings the harrowing reality of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in the United States to mind. Statistics paint a grim picture. According to the National Crime Information Center, there were over 5,700 reports of missing Native American women and girls in 2016 alone. The Department of Justice only logged 116 of these cases in the missing persons database. 


Barbara Poley, a prominent Hopi voice advocating for Indigenous communities, emphasizes the critical need for a standardized system to address this crisis effectively. She asserts, “The FCC proposed Missing and Endangered Persons Event Code (MEP) promises to be a vital tool for Tribal efforts to respond swiftly and effectively to cases involving missing individuals who may be in imminent danger.”


Across Indian Country, a myriad of voices has joined the call for the FCC to establish the MEP Event Code swiftly as cases of missing and endangered Indigenous persons continue to rise.


Gerad Godfrey, from the Alaska Native Village of Port Lions, highlights the urgency of implementing the MEP Event Code. “Time is of the essence in these situations, and having a structured protocol in place can significantly improve the chances of locating the individual safely.”


Furthermore, Godfrey emphasizes the importance of collaboration among multiple agencies involved in search and rescue operations. “A standardized MEP Event Code will facilitate better coordination and maximize resources and expertise.”

From the Chickasaw Nation, Brian Brashier underlines the significance of data in addressing the MMIWG crisis. “Consistently categorizing missing persons using the MEP Event Code will help analyze trends, identify patterns, and improve strategies for prevention and response.”


The Federal Communications Commission will vote on releasing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Missing and Endangered Event Code on March 14, 2024.


“Every minute counts when individuals are missing or endangered. Together, we can strive for justice, safety, and dignity for all, especially for the missing and endangered among us,” states Godfrey.


“By working together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need our help the most,” concludes Poley, emphasizing that everyone can contribute by supporting the Missing and Endangered Persons Event Code, especially during Women’s History Month.




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