‘Blue Alert’ System may Help Law Enforcement

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WASHINGTON — A branch of the Justice Department is pushing for a ‘Blue Alert’ system, to make it easier to alert members of the public when officers of the law are in danger. 

Officials say that the recent prevalence of crimes against police places new importance on the implementation of such a system. 

“The type of individuals that would harm law enforcement and kill law enforcement, these are people who pose an inherent immediate danger,” said Vince Davenport, the Deputy National Coordinator for Blue Alerts. 

Davenport said that a Blue Alert system would do more than just protect the police–it would be a critical step in alerting the public when a potentially dangerous suspect is on the loose. 

Because suspects often travel from one jurisdiction to the other, Davenport said the goal of the Blue Alert is to integrate response plans into a national framework for dealing with suspects.  Similar to the way Amber Alerts operate, a Blue Alert could send a notification to cell phones, which could provide more details about the subject.

Twenty-seven states now have Blue Alert systems, but the implementation of a nationwide system requires approval from the Federal Communications Commission. 

Chairman of the F.C.C., Ajit Pai, supports a nationwide Blue Alert option.

“It was thought by congress that if the F.C.C. 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,” Pai said.  

The F.C.C. is now weighing considerations between implementing a state or federal system. 

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