Legislation to create a Blue Alert system to prove information about suspects involved in law enforcement shootings has not yet moved out of the House General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee. All legislation had until Friday, Feb. 25 to move out of committees or they are likely considered “dead” for the session.
The Blue Alert system would be deployed in cases where a suspect has fled a scene in which a law enforcement officer has been seriously injured or killed. The means of disseminating the information would be modeled after the AMBER Alert system used to help find missing children.
Rep. Mike Hope, the sponsor of House Bill 1820 to create a Blue Alert system, said he is disappointed the proposal has sat in the appropriations committee for days without action being taken.
“This bill had bipartisan and unanimous support in the public safety committee; the policy is sound,” said Hope, R-Lake Stevens. “While there is a minimal and unexpected fiscal note attached, the federal government is in the midst of approving grant money for this very purpose. I believe having the Blue Alert system in place will save lives. I’m not sure why some of my House colleagues aren’t fully behind this legislation.”
At least seven other states in the country have used this approach to help in apprehending suspects. The proposal has bipartisan sponsors and no one testified against the bill when it came before the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee.