Reps. Grimm & Pierluisi Introduce the Bipartisan "National Blue Alert Act" (H.R. 365) to Protect Law Enforcement

Jan 26, 2011

For Immediate Release                                        Contact: Carol Danko, 202-225-3371
January 21, 2011                                                                          

WASHINGTON, DC – Reps Michael G. Grimm (R-NY) and Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) introduce the National Blue Alert Act (H.R. 365), a bipartisan bill that would encourage and integrate a “Blue Alert” system throughout the United States in order to quickly disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

The Blue Alert system would work in a similar fashion to the “Amber Alert” system currently used to locate abducted children. It would be implemented by law enforcement agencies, and state and local governments to speed up the apprehension of criminals who seriously injure or kill local, state, or federal law enforcement officers.

“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,” said Rep Grimm. “Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day for our safety and protection. They are true heroes of our communities, and I am proud to introduce this bill on their behalf.”

“I am proud to co-sponsor the National Blue Alert Act of 2011,” said Rep. Pierluisi.  “This bill reflects our respect for law enforcement officers, our appreciation for the risks they undertake in the line of duty, and our fierce determination to ensure that the criminals who seriously injure or kill them are promptly apprehended and convicted.”

Currently, there is no national alert system to disseminate information to other law enforcement, the media, or the general public in regards to officers who have been injured or killed; however, many states have created a state-level blue alert system in an effort to better inform their local communities.  
 
H.R. 365 creates the national Blue Alert Program within the Department of Justice. Each year Congress authorizes funds under the COPS Technology Program, for technology and automated systems that help state and local law enforcement agencies prevent, respond to, and investigate crime.  This bill authorizes $10 million of already budgeted funds from the COPS Program to be appropriated for the creation of Blue Alert systems throughout the country.  It also directs the Department of Justice to designate a national coordinator for the program who will encourage states to develop Blue Alert plans, establish voluntary guidelines, and develop protocols for suspect apprehension.   

Rep. Grimm is a former FBI agent and Rep. Pierluisi is a former Attorney General of Puerto Rico.

The Sergeant’s Benevolent Association and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) have endorsed the Grimm-Pierluisi National Blue Alert Act (H.R. 365).

###