Murkowski Seeking to Protect Safety Officers in Funding Bill

Senator Works to Create “Blue Alert” System to Boost Response Efforts

With Alaskans still coming to terms with the loss of two Alaska State Troopers in the line of duty, Senator Lisa Murkowski today inserted language in the 2015 Commerce, Justice and Science funding bill to have the Department of Justice evaluate a nationwide “Blue Alert” system to alert the public when law enforcement officers are killed or injured in the line of duty.

“We owe our law enforcement our respect and support, including protection from potential harm,” said Murkowski.  “A ‘Blue Alert’ system would instantaneously tell Alaskans about acute dangers and enlist the public in apprehending those responsible for injuring safety officers.”

Modeled after the national “Amber Alert” process nationwide which informs citizens and authorities instantaneously of missing children, the “Blue Alert” would broadcast news of fallen officers in an effort to raise danger awareness and activate appropriate response efforts.  The language from today’s funding bill reads:

“Similar to the AMBER Alert system, a Blue Alert system would rapidly notify law enforcement agencies, the media, and the public to aid in the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously injure local, State, or Federal law enforcement officers.  The Committee directs the Department to report, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this act, on the costs and feasibility of establishing a national Blue Alert Communications network to issue alerts in coordination with State and local law enforcement agencies, and other appropriate entities.  The report should include an evaluation of the potential use of existing systems of infrastructure that could facilitate the implementation of this type of alert.”