FCC Introduces EAS “Blue Alerts” to Benefit Law Enforcement Personnel

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The FCC has adopted an order adding a new Emergency Alert Service (EAS) alert option – – called a “Blue Alert” – – to the country’s EAS.  Blue Alerts may be used by state and local authorities to notify the general public when law enforcement personnel face threats or when they need help to apprehend a dangerous suspect.  The new Blue Alert code can soon be sent by state and local agencies through broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline video providers, and also through the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system to consumers’ mobile wireless phones.  The FCC envisions that Blue Alerts will warn the public when there is actionable information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, and even when there is an imminent and credible threat to a law enforcement officer.  Blue Alerts also have the ability to provide an immediate warning if a violent suspect is present nearby, and they can also provide instructions on what to do if a threat is nearby and how to remain safe.

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