Police on board with proposed Blue Alert System

Published: May. 20, 2011 at 4:38 AM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2011 at 10:27 AM EDT
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Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced legislation to create a Blue Alert System, modeled after Amber Alert. It's aimed at apprehending criminals who injure or kill law enforcement officers serving in the line of duty.

More than 57,000 officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2009; 11 states have a Blue Alert System in place and Sen. Brown wants Ohio to be number 12.

Local police departments say they're on board with the proposed system, especially smaller agencies like the Monroe Police Department. They say if a tragedy were to happen, they could use the extra manpower.

"I've they've already killed a police officer, they're going to kill anybody out there, and they need to be tracked down immediately before they do harm to other people," said Lt. Brian Curlis with the Monroe Police Department.

That's why Lt. Curlis says the proposed Blue Alert System makes sense for law enforcement in Ohio.

"I think it would be a really good idea to get the information out quickly, in an organized fashion, and get that same information out on a national level, I think it's a great idea," Curlis said.

Curlis says as it stands right now, if an officer were to be killed or injured in the line of duty, it would be up to the individual agency to put the information out about the suspect's whereabouts -- a task that's easier said than done for smaller departments like Monroe.

"If an officer is injured or killed right now it would take us a while to put that information out to the TV stations and radio stations, and the newspapers, and it would take a while to get the same message out, we just don't have the personnel to do that," Curlis said.

Four officers were killed in the line of duty in 2010, and this year the recent death of Warren County Deputy Sgt. Brian Dulle sent authorities on a manhunt for the suspect who fled the scene after hitting and killing the deputy.

Officers say having that instant alert to the media and local authorities about a suspect can help ensure that those dangerous criminals are caught and handcuffed.

"When you have a system like that, that information gets sent out all at one time, and a lot of smaller agencies like ours would benefit if that tragedy ever happened," Curlis said.

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