If passed, the National Blue Alert Act would encourage states to set up a federal notification system to alert law enforcement agencies, the media and the public when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.
Reps. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY) and Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico) are co-sponsoring the act, known as H.R. 365, that encourages a system that would work similarly to the Amber Alert system used to locate abducted children.
"The National Blue Alert Act will allow us to act quickly in apprehending suspects, and make it clear that to anyone who chooses to harm our nation's law enforcement officers, that they will be caught," according to Rep. Grimm, a former FBI agent. "Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day for our safety and protection."
Currently, there is no national alerting system for attacks on officers; however, many states have created a state-level blue alert system. California's Blue Alert system went into effect Jan. 1.
Each year Congress authorizes funds via COPS grants for technology and automated systems that help state and local law enforcement agencies fight crime. H.R. 365 would authorize $10 million of already budgeted funds from the COPS to be appropriated for the creation of Blue Alert systems throughout the country.
The bill also directs the Department of Justice to designate a national coordinator for the program who would encourage states to develop Blue Alert plans, establish voluntary guidelines, and develop protocols for suspect apprehension.
The bill has been endorsed by the Sergeant's Benevolent Association that represents NYPD sergeants and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA).