The proposed Blue Alert system would notify the public when a suspect is being sought in the injury or death of an officer.
Photo credit: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Lawmakers and police officials in Washington, D.C. this week are pushing for the creation of a nationwide Blue Alert system.
Modeled after the Amber Alert for missing children and the Silver Alert for missing seniors, the Blue Alert would quickly notify the public when a suspect is being sought for seriously injuring or killing a law enforcement officer in the line of duty.
"We need to do a better job in keeping our law enforcement safe," Senator Ben Cardin, (D-Md.), the chief sponsor of the bill, told WTOP Radio.
Several states have their own Blue Alert systems, but Cardin said that a more comprehensive system is needed.
"The incident may occur in one community but the person may very well try to flee," he said. "It's important to have a regional and national effort."
Many police officials agree that a nationwide Blue Alert system would be helpful when an officer is violently attacked.
"It could absolutely be the key in making a quick arrest and saving someone else from being hurt or killed," Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger told WTOP.
If passed by Congress, the Justice Department would house a national coordinator of the Blue Alert who would encourage Blue Alert plans across the country and send information to law enforcement agencies, media and the public when an officer is seriously hurt or killed.
The calls for the new legislation come as thousands of law enforcement officers are in the nation's capital for National Police Week.
On Monday, the names of 321 fallen officers were dedicated to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during the 25th Annual Candlelight Vigil.
Fallen officers will be honored Wednesday at the 32nd Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Day Services on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
Officer.com will be covering all of the events leading up to and during National Police Week, which runs from May 12-18. For full coverage, Click Here.