State Launches “Blue Alert” to Warn of Attacks on Officers

(KCPW News) The public will soon know right away when a law enforcement officer in Utah is killed or seriously wounded. Yesterday, Utah became the tenth state to begin an alert system for such incidents. Spokesman Paul Murphy with the Utah Attorney General’s Office says the “Blue Alert” system will work the same way as Amber Alert, notifying the public through text messages, highway signs and e-mails.

“The idea is that if a person is willing to hurt or kill a law enforcement officer, they are willing to hurt of kill anyone in their way and so we hope that the Blue Alert will just be theoretical, that we never have to issue one, but it’s there to warn the public that there is a very dangerous individual out there, and we’re hoping that the public can be involved in bringing this person to justice,” he explains.

Murphy admits that in the beginning, he and several others had concerns with the new system.

“I was worried that if we had too many alerts that people wouldn’t pay attention,” Murphy says. “But I don’t think that it happens very often and when it does happen I think it is important that the public be notified so that they can protect themselves and also so that we can bring a killer or potential killer to be apprehended as quickly as possible.”

Utah joins nine other states in adopting such a system for attacks on officers. Six other states are considering a similar measure.