EXPLAINER: What is a ‘Blue Alert’?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Tennessee Bureau of investigation sent out two blue alerts in the past 24 hours after two officers were shot in the Middle Tennessee area.
The alerts were sent to seek the public’s help in apprehending violent criminals who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers in the line of duty or to help find a missing officer where foul play is involved.
This week, one Hendersonville officer was shot, and one Erin PD officer was shot, both during a traffic stop. Law enforcement was searching for both suspects, which is why the alert was sent out.
One of the manhunts ended after the suspect involved in the Hendersonville officer shooting was killed by Kentucky State Police in Louisville on Tuesday night.
Erin PD and other law enforcement, including U.S. Marshalls, are still searching for BJ Brown.
Brown allegedly showed an Erin PD officer on Monday night during a traffic stop and was accused of shooting and killing a woman execution-style in New Orleans on Monday morning.
Blue Alerts use the statewide infrastructure of the existing AMBER Alert system to push out critical information to citizens to help find a missing child who is in imminent danger.
Blue Alerts are sent by the TBI Criminal Intelligence Unit, who, after determining a warranted Blue Alert, will activate the alert on TBI’s website, E-mail law enforcement and media the details of the incident, and activate the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Smartway Signs in the region where the offense happened.
TBI consider the following criteria when issuing a Blue Alert:
1. A sworn law enforcement officer is killed, sustains life-threatening injuries, or the officer is missing in the line of duty under the circumstances warranting concern for the law enforcement officer’s safety.
2. The suspect(s) pose(s) an imminent threat to public safety and law enforcement personnel
3. A description of the offender or vehicle is available for statewide broadcast to the public and law enforcement 911 centers.
4. Before activation, if the suspect(s) is/are identified, the requesting agency will immediately: Place the suspect in the temporary felon file in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Obtain felony warrants as soon as possible or within 24 hours and enter the offender into NCIC.
5. The head of any Tennessee law enforcement agency, Colonel of the Highway Patrol, Chief, Sheriff, or their designee of the investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction requests the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to activate the Blue Alert system.
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