WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced Friday the rollout of a new alert system to specifically disseminate information on any threats or crimes against law enforcement officers.
The National Blue Alert system will be similar to AMBER Alerts — which broadcast instances of child abduction via cell phones and other wireless devices as well as on freeway overpasses — and will operate nationally and be managed by the DOJ. The system, announced on the conclusion of National Police Week, is designed to get information out quickly to make it easier and faster to find suspects of the suspected crimes.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
The program will run under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office and will send out intelligence to law enforcement, the media and the public about violent offenders “who have killed, seriously injured or pose an imminent threat to law enforcement, or when an officer is missing in connection with official duties,” according to a DOJ press release.
The system is a result of legislation passed in 2015 and is named in honor of two fallen New York City Police Department officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were ambushed in 2014, according to the release.
More than two dozen states already have blue alert systems in place but officials say the more coordinated framework will help streamline and integrate existing plans into one network.