‘Blue Alert’ to warn public of threats to police

Since 2008, 28 states have adopted some form of the Blue Alert system

SHERWOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — The Federal Communications Commission is about to add another emergency alert to the nation’s emergency alert system — Blue Alert.

Blue Alert, aimed at saving lives, would be used by law enforcement to notify the public when there are serious threats to police officers as well as the public.

Similar to an Amber Alert, a Blue Alert would be sent out the public, along with instructions on what to do.

Capt. Mark Daniel of the Sherwood Police Department talks to KOIN 6 News, July 18, 2017. (KOIN)

Capt. Mark Daniel of the Sherwood Police Department said, “Putting out information to the public has been crucial to solving crime.”

An alert may have been sent out after Oregon State Trooper Nic Cederberg was ambushed on Christmas Day.

The Blue Alert would be sent out through broadcast, cable, satellite and phones. An alert would be sent for multiple different reasons like if there were a certifiable threat to officers, an officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

The alert helps both officers and the public.

Tom Berry, president of the National Blue Alert Foundation, said, “If they’re willing to kill a police officer wearing a badge, they will kill civilians.”

Berry pushed the Blue Alert Act into law in 2015 after years of working with government leaders, both locally and nationally.

Since 2008, 28 states have adopted some form of the Blue Alert system. The alerts aren’t expected to flood the emergency wires once it’s rolled out nationwide, according to Berry.

“The most that we’ve had so far since the system was in place in 2008, is 6 nationwide. That was 2 in Florida, 2 in California, 1 in Texas and 1 in Ohio, so it’s not like the phone is going to go off every time,” Berry said.

Currently, the specifics on the Blue Alert system are still open for public comment in Washington. However, former President Barack Obama signed the alert system into law in 2015, so it could go into effect as early as this year.