Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) announced that he is co-sponsoring legislation to create a national Blue Alert system to disseminate critical information to law enforcement agencies, the public and the media and help apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers.
“Law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way each and every day to protect our families and keep our communities safe in Michigan and across the country,” said Senator Peters. “When an officer is seriously injured, killed, or goes missing, a national Blue Alert System will help ensure that we are better prepared to share information, so that criminal suspects can be apprehended quickly and effectively.”
“The violent criminals who attack law enforcement officers are dangerous, and this bipartisan plan to create a national Blue Alert system will keep them from doing more harm,” said Kenneth E. Grabowski, Legislative Director for the Police Officers Association of Michigan. “Senator Peters has always been a strong supporter of law enforcement, and we are glad to see him supporting this forward-thinking bill that will protect our communities and help our law enforcement officers in the line of duty stay safe.”
The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named in honor of two New York City Police Officers who were killed while sitting in their police patrol car in Brooklyn in December 2014. Since 2008, a total of 20 states have created state-level alert programs for law enforcement, modeled on the success of Amber Alerts for locating missing children. Michigan does not have its own Blue Alert system in place, and there is currently no national coordination for this voluntary program.
The bill directs the U.S. Attorney General to establish a national Blue Alert communications network within the Justice Department. With more than 900,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers putting their lives on the line, this legislation will help improve the ability to push out critical, time-sensitive information about suspected criminals when a police officer is seriously injured, killed, or goes missing in the line of duty.
The bipartisan legislation is being led in the 114th Congress by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as well as U.S. Representatives Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ). Supporters of the plan include the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department, and many other organizations.
Information Courtesy of Peters Communications