The Ohio Blue Alert system went into effect earlier this month. Similar to an AMBER Alert, which notifies the public of a kidnapped child, a Blue Alert will rapidly broadcast information to the public advising them of an at-large suspect who has killed, seriously injured, or kidnapped an Ohio peace officer.
“It’s critical that the public work with law enforcement in this type of situation,” said DeWine. “The goal is for residents to help officers locate and apprehend the person responsible before they can do additional harm.”
A Blue Alert will be issued when there is sufficient descriptive information about the suspect or the circumstances surrounding a law enforcement officer’s injury, death or disappearance.
Residents can also choose to receive Blue Alerts sent as a text message, email or fax by signing up on the Ohio Attorney General’s website. Updates through social media are also available.
Once a Blue Alert is activated, authorities throughout the state will also relay the information through television, radio and newspaper, on highway signs, and through truckers’ alerts.
Those with information on a Blue Alert can contact authorities by calling 877-262-3764.
The Blue Alert program is operated by Ohio’s AMBER Alert steering committee, which is made up of the Ohio Attorney General’s Missing Person’s Unit; Ohio Highway Patrol; Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association; Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police; Ohio Emergency Management Agency; Ohio Department of Transportation; Ohio Association of Broadcasters; State Emergency Communications Committee; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Other states that already use the Blue Alert system include Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
Published: July 5, 2012