Citizens can now sign up to receive email alerts through Florida's new Blue Alert Program, which helps protect police officers across the state.
A new law requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to immediately issue a statewide "Blue Alert" if a law enforcement officer is killed, assaulted, missing, or suffered serious injury, and the suspect is gone.
The alert is issued like an Amber Alert or Silver Alert, with the information being transmitted over the statewide emergency communication system. The alert quickly notifies members of law enforcement about the suspect, so they're aware of the danger and can start a search. The media is also notified, so they can pass the information along to the public.
Two Palm Harbor residents played a big role in creating the Blue Alert Program. State Rep. Peter Nehr, R-Palm Harbor, introduced the bill in the legislature after he was contacted by Christopher Schlenker in 2010. Schlenker had discovered that California had a law protecting its police officers and he thought Florida should have one, too.
Schlenker hopes that Floridians will sign up to get the alerts.
"The more people that get the alert, the better it is for our law enforcement men and women," says Schlenker.
You can register to receive Blue Alerts at Florida Blue Alert.com.