U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken today announced that bipartisan legislation they cosponsored to create a national "Blue Alert" system to help catch suspects who have killed or injured police officers passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. The National Blue Alert Act would create a national Blue Alert system, similar to Amber and Silver Alerts, to quickly inform the public about suspects who have injured or killed law enforcement officers.
"Every day, police officers in Minnesota and across the country put their lives on the line to protect our communities," Klobuchar said. "This legislation will help law enforcement spread the word anytime an officer has been caught in the line of fire, enlisting the public's help to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice. I'm pleased that this legislation passed the Judiciary Committee and I will continue to work to move this important bill forward."
"We need to be doing everything we can to ensure that law enforcement officers get to go home to their families at night," Franken said. "Passing this legislation out of the Senate Judiciary Committee is a key step toward establishing important protections for our officers. I'm going to keep pushing to create a national Blue Alert system to help establish protocol for and prevent terrible tragedies."
The National Blue Alert Act will encourage and integrate Blue Alert plans by creating a program within the Department of Justice by directing the Department to designate a national Blue Alert coordinator who would encourage states to develop plans and establish voluntary guidelines. Eighteen states have implemented some form of Blue Alert, but there is currently no national Blue Alert system and no federal system in place.
The legislation is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the Concerns of Police Survivors. You can read more about the National Blue Alert Act here.
Senators Klobuchar and Franken have long been advocates for protecting our law enforcement officers. In July, they cosponsored legislation that would provide state and local governments in Minnesota and around the country with additional funding to purchase body armor for law enforcement. Franken also authored a bill, cosponsored by Senator Klobuchar, to increase safety measures in our local courthouses. Right now, many of Minnesota's courthouses-especially in rural and suburban areas-lack even basic security measures like metal detectors.