WASHINGTON (WSAV) — One branch of the US Justice Department is pushing for federal approval of a ‘Blue Alert.’
The alert works similarly to an AMBER Alert, which is issued by law enforcement when a child has been kidnapped and is in danger.
When police are under attack or in need of help, a ‘Blue Alert’ would be issued to the public.
This comes just after a recent ambush attack which killed a police officer; a reminder of the dangers law enforcement face every day.
Vince Davenport, Department of Justice Deputy and ‘National Blue Alert Coordinator,’ says when crimes like this happen, it’s a public safety concern people need to be alerted of.
“The type of individuals that would harm law enforcement and kill law enforcement, these are people who pose an inherent immediate danger,” says Davenport.
He says having a nationwide ‘Blue Alert’ system is a critical step in protecting law enforcement and the public when a suspect is on the loose.
“We know suspects will routinely travel from one jurisdiction to another,” Davenport says, “So the national blue alert network is designed to integrate state plans into a national framework.”
Similar to AMBER Alerts, a Blue Alert could send information to the public, media and law enforcement via phone to let you know details about suspects who have killed, seriously injured or pose an imminent threat to law enforcement.
It would also notify when an officer is missing in connection with official duties.
In order to establish a national program, police need federal approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“It was thought by Congress that if the FCC was the leader on the national level, we could make this a more coherent national system so any state can opt into this unified framework. The FCC is hearing from the public as they weigh a federal versus state system,” says Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman.
Currently, 27 states have Blue Alert systems.