You’ve seen Amber Alerts notifying drivers about a missing child. Now there will be another alert called a Blue Alert to notify the public when a criminal is on the run who has killed or injured a member of law enforcement.
The alert system is up and running at the state level in many states, but once active, the new system will be nationwide.
“This network provides the means of quickly identifying, pursuing and capturing violent offenders who have hurt, killed or pose an imminent danger to law enforcement,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “This National Police Week, we are proud to show our support for our nation’s brave police officers, and to work with our federal partners to keep them safe.”
Notification of Blue Alerts will take place similarly to AMBER Alerts and will eventually be broadcast on TV, radio and cell phones.
Blue Alerts will provide the public with a description of the suspect, vehicle information and other important information, the Justice Department released Friday.
This program isn’t fully launching immediately.
At a news conference, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said the agency only proposed on Thursday, the creation of a special code needed to trigger an alert on television stations when a Blue Alert is issued.
The FCC could vote to approve the recommendation at its next meeting June 22, he said.
Then there would be a public hearing period, before changes would be implemented.
The 27 states that currently have the Blue Alert program, in order of state-level adoption according to BlueAlert.us, are: Florida, Texas, Alabama, Maryland, Georgia, Delaware, California, Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah Colorado, South Carolina, Washington State, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Connecticut, Illinois, Arizona, Kansas, North Dakota, Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, Oklahoma, and North Carolina.
“This coordinated framework will help facilitate and streamline the adoption of new Blue Alert plans throughout the nation and help integrate existing plans,” the Justice Department said in a news release.
The Blue Alert Law was signed by President Barack Obama in 2015. At the time he said the program would be up and running within 60 days.
The project was delayed as the government tried to figure out how to implement the program.
It is named in honor of New York City Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were ambushed and killed in December 2014.