Senators Vulakovich & Rafferty Introduce “Blue Alert” Bill

Recognizing that the expeditious and widespread dissemination of information can be essential when critical events impact public safety, Senators Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) and John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) introduced legislation that would establish a “Blue Alert” system for the protection of Pennsylvania’s law enforcement personnel and the people they serve.

Senate Bill 1055 would activate an emergency alert response — similar to the existing Amber Alert system for disseminating information (PennDOT signage and media broadcasts) about child abductions — for any incident involving the endangerment, injury or death of a law enforcement officer and the suspect or suspects are at large.

“Hopefully this system will expedite the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously injure local, state or federal law enforcement officers.  Currently, 30 states have Blue Alert systems,” said Sen. Vulakovich, a former municipal police officer and Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee.  “In December, there was a shooting of a police officer outside the Capitol and in January a Deputy U.S. Marshall was shot and killed in the City of Harrisburg.  We need to ensure that law enforcement personnel and the public are immediately aware of dangerous situations like these so that perpetrators can be apprehended as quickly and safely as possible.”

“Our brave men and women of law enforcement continue to be under increased threat of being injured or killed while performing their duties,” said Sen. Rafferty.  “When these very unfortunate incidents occur, time is of the essence and the Blue Alert System will utilize the power of the public to locate and apprehend those responsible as quickly as possible. The citizenry and the media have always been powerful tools in assisting and cooperating with law enforcement to bring criminals to justice. It is my hope that this legislation will further enhance this already effective relationship.”

Senate Bill 1055 has been referred to the Senate Law & Justice Committee for its consideration. 

 

Contacts:
Nate Silcox (Sen. Vulakovich) (717) 787-6538          nsilcox@pasen.gov
Sean Moll (Sen. Rafferty)       (717) 787-1398          smoll@pasen.gov