08.01.13

SJC To Consider National Blue Alert Act In September

. . . Bill Creates National Alert System For Police Injured or Killed in the Line of Duty

WASHINGTON (Thursday, August 1, 2013) – Following this week’s bipartisan approval of legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday the Committee will consider in September a bill to create a national alert system to notify all state and federal law enforcement agencies with critical information when an officer is injured or killed in the line of duty.

The bipartisan National Blue Alert Act of 2013, authored by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), directs the Department of Justice to establish a national communications network to quickly broadcast information to law enforcement agencies nationwide when an officer is injured or killed in the line of duty.  The measure, coauthored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and cosponsored by Leahy and 11 other senators, would assist in the apprehension of someone suspected of seriously injuring or killing a law enforcement officer who crosses from one law enforcement jurisdiction to another. 

“The Judiciary Committee has traditionally worked in a bipartisan way when it comes to helping to keep the men and women in law enforcement as safe as possible, and that tradition was on full display with today’s bipartisan approval of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act,” Leahy said.  “I look forward to the Committee continuing its bipartisan work in September when we consider the National Blue Alert Act of 2013.”

“The brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect the public as law enforcement officers deserve every resource at their disposal, including the seamless dissemination to the public and others who could assist in the apprehension of violent criminals,” said Cardin, who introduced similar legislation in the 112th Congress. “I am proud that Maryland has been a leader in the use of the Blue Alert System. Like the successful Amber Alerts, it works. We now need to expand this valuable tool nationally. I thank Chairman Leahy for making it a priority to protect those who make sacrifices to protect all of us.”

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