Blue Alerts Notify the Public When Police Are Injured or Killed

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The Blue Alerts are delivered through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to notify the public of imminent danger. It’s already played a role in the capture of one cop killer.

When Newman, Calif., police officer, Ronil Singh, was murdered in December 2018, a Blue Alert was issued to notify the public of the dangers of a killer on the loose and to help apprehend the suspect.

The Blue Alert, a brief message issued via FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), was issued by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in the Fresno and Merced areas where the suspect was believed to be on the run. The embedded link in the alert that contained a flyer with added information on the suspect was clicked on by more than a million cellphones within 30 minutes.

Developed by OnSolve, Blue Alert is a new addition to IPAWS to provide law enforcement officials with the ability to alert the public of injury or death of a law enforcement official. It is administered in California by the CHP, which acts on information provided by the local agency seeking to send an alert.

The perpetrator of officer Singh’s death was captured, and the alert had an indirect effect on his apprehension, officials said.

Blue Alerts can be issued in any of the following circumstances according to the FCC:
•    When a law enforcement officer is killed or seriously injured in the line of duty
•    When an officer is missing in connection with official duties
•    When there is an imminent and credible threat to kill or seriously injure a law enforcement officer.

States can apply through FEMA to adopt Blue Alerts as they would for Amber and Silver alerts.

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