(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he is pleased that Ohio has now become the 14th state in the country to implement a program that will help officers in their greatest time of need.
The law creating an Ohio Blue Alert system officially went into effect today. Similar to an AMBER Alert, 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. The goal is for residents to help law enforcement quickly locate and apprehend the person responsible before they can do additional harm.
“It’s critical that the public work with law enforcement in this type of situation,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Ohioans have helped find missing children through AMBER Alerts, and they’ve helped find missing elderly adults through Missing Adult Alerts. The new Blue Alerts will now give Ohioans the chance to help the officers who put their lives on the line for the public every day.”
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.
Once a Blue Alert is activated, authorities throughout the state, including employees from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, will then relay the information through television, radio and newspaper, on highway signs, through truckers’ alerts, and a statewide message will also be delivered to all of Ohio’s law enforcement officers.
In addition, residents can choose to receive Blue Alerts directly by signing up on the Ohio Attorney General’s Website for instant text alerts, emails or faxes, and updates through social media are also available.
Ohio Blue Alert on Facebook
Ohio Blue Alert on Twitter
Those with information on a Blue Alert can contact authorities by calling 1-877-262-3764.
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.