McCrory signs law for Blue Alert System

Published 7:57 pm Thursday, July 21, 2016

Officer Down notification to be statewide

One law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 61 hours, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. More than 20,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice since 1791. Last year, 123 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.

On Monday, July 11, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law the Blue Alert Notification System. The Blue Alert System is a voluntary cooperative effort among North Carolina radio, television broadcasters, local and state law enforcement, and the Department of Transportation.

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Modeled after the AMBER and Silver Alert systems currently in place in North Carolina and the United States, the Blue Alert System will be included as part of the N.C. Center for Missing Persons which the State Highway Patrol oversees.

The Blue Alert will use local radio and TV stations, electronic highway signs and lottery terminals to notify citizens of the suspected assailant and facilitate a rapid apprehension by law enforcement.

A Blue Alert would cover the state with information identifying a detailed description of the suspect, the suspect’s vehicle, and license plate information or other pertinent information. In addition to the general public, law enforcement agencies statewide would be notified that a suspect is on the run after seriously injuring or killing another officer. This widespread notification would hinder a violator’s ability to flee the state and potentially facilitate a swift capture thereby eliminating the threat to the community and law enforcement personnel.

Under the law, a Blue Alert can only be activated if the following occurs:

-A law enforcement officer is killed or suffers serious bodily injury. Under N.C.G.S. 14-32.4(a), serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization.

-A law enforcement agency with jurisdiction determines that the suspect poses a threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel and possesses information that may assist in locating the suspect, including information regarding the suspect’s vehicle, complete or partial license plate information, and a detailed description of the suspect, or that a law enforcement officer is missing while on duty under circumstances warranting concern for the law enforcement officer’s safety.

-The head of a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction recommends the issuance of a blue alert to the Center.

For more information, please contact Lt. Jeff Gordon, Public Information Officer/Director of the NC Center for Missing Persons at (919) 825-2733 or

– Submitted by NCDPS/Jeff Gordon