ALBANY COUNTY In light of a child’s tragic death, a new bill will help law enforcement agencies investigate missing children quicker.
Senator George Amedore and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, along with Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple announced on Monday, Nov. 23 that Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed their bill into law. The law will expedite law enforcement agencies’ access to child abuse and maltreatment records when investigating missing child cases.
The law was created in response to the tragic Kenneth White case in Knox. According to police, When the Albany County Sheriff’s Office contacted Child Protective Services (CPS) to request access to White’s records, they were denied.
Tragically, Kenneth White was found dead later that night and his cousin, who had originally reported him missing, was charged with his murder. After a review of the case, it was determined that the records should have been turned over when requested.
“When a child is missing, every second counts, and we need to make sure law enforcement has access to every resource at their disposal” said Senator George Amedore. “This new law fixes a flaw and removes the questions of when it’s appropriate to release CPS records to law enforcement during a criminal investigation.”
A year has now passed since the Kenneth White investigation. Amedore hoped that although the legislation would not have saved White, it “could help change the outcome for another child in the future.”
“I can think of no better way to pay tribute to Kenneth White, a young life taken much too soon,” said the Senator.
The bill passed overwhelmingly in both chambers, with support from Amedore and Fahy, along with Assemblyman John McDonald and advocacy from Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Sr.