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At Hawley Environmental School, Gov. Evers signs Prince Act for missing children into law

Gov. Tony Evers signs the Prince Act at Hawley Environmental SchoolAt Hawley Environmental School, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed a bill — named for late Hawley kindergartner Prince McCree — that expands public alerts for missing children. 

Prince was a student at Hawley. An Amber Alert, which is issued for missing children believed to be in danger, could not be issued for Prince because required information about a suspect or suspect’s car was not available.  

The new system, made possible by the bipartisan Prince Act, will be issued for children younger than 10 and children up to age 18 who cannot find their way home without assistance. Alerts will be broadcast on highway signs, digital billboards, and interstate emergency alert systems. The governor signed the bill on Tuesday, April 9.

Because of the disappearances and deaths of Prince and of 10-year-old Iliana (Lily) Peters in 2022 in Chippewa Falls, state Senators LaTonya Johnson, a Democrat from Milwaukee, and Jesse James, a Republican from Altoona, introduced legislation to close the gaps in missing-persons alerts. Their efforts received bipartisan support in the Senate and Assembly. 

“I hope that this bill will ensure that no family in the future will have to feel this loss,” Gov. Evers said. 

The law modifies the Silver Alerts issued for older adults to include children. 

The new law will “ensure that we’re able to use every resource and tool available to bring kids home,” the governor added. 

Prince’s parents, Darron McCree and Jordan Barger, also spoke at the signing.  

“Any child that could be saved should be saved,” said Darron McCree, Prince’s father. 

Sen. LaTonya Johnson, a neighbor of Prince’s family, said she saw firsthand the frustration and torment the family was going through. “I think the importance of this bill is knowing that kids who will go to sleep tonight will be a lot safer than they were when they woke up this morning because of this bill.” 

“Their deaths were not in vain,” Johnson said of Prince and Lily, “because they changed the trajectory of the resources that children will have statewide — unified resources, not fragmented.”  

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Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager

davis2@milwaukee.k12.wi.us
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