If a law enforcement officer is killed or injured in the line of duty, a proposed system would alert law enforcement agencies, the media and the public nationwide about the suspected criminal — should a U.S. legislator gain support for legislation he is co-sponsoring. Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is fighting to create a “Blue Alert” system — similar to the Amber Alert — aimed at helping to apprehend criminals involved in crimes against law enforcement officers serving in the line of duty.
“We ask a great deal from our law enforcement officials to keep our neighborhoods safe, we ask them to patrol dangerous neighborhoods and to investigate violent crimes, we ask them to put their lives on the line and they give that each day and each night,” Brown said Wednesday during media conference call. “Unfortunately, far too many give the ultimate sacrifice.”
“It only makes sense that we go to any means to bring to justice those that commit these crimes and to protect our law enforcement officials so that is why I am co-sponsoring the national ‘Blue Alert’ system aimed at apprehending criminals who injure or kill law enforcement officers serving in the line of duty,” he said, noting this is National Police Week. “ ‘Blue Alert’ would disseminate critical information about suspected criminals to other law enforcement agencies, the public and the media.”
He noted 47 officers from 35 Ohio law enforcement agencies died while serving in the line of duty in the past 10 years. He cited FBI statistics which show 48 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2009 and 47,000 were assaulted. FBI records show 56 officers died on-duty in 2010.
Brown cited 11 states, not including Ohio, already have the “Blue Alert” system, so he believes the time has come for a nationwide system.
Wapakoneta Police Chief Russ Hunlock told the Wapakoneta Daily News he knows it is still early in the legislative process, but he supports the effort.
“I think it is a really good idea,” Hunlock said. “I think it would be nothing but helpful in apprehending the suspect. I believe in it and would support this legislation being enacted.”
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