The new alert option is designed to protect law enforcement officers and communities.
FCC Proposes To Add Blue Alerts To EAS
The FCC today proposed to add an alert option to the nation’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) to help protect the nation’s law enforcement officers. Called a “Blue Alert,” the option would be used by authorities in states across the country to notify the public through television and radio of threats to law enforcement and to help apprehend dangerous suspects.
Blue Alerts can be used to 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, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer. As a result, the FCC says, “a Blue Alert could quickly warn you if a violent suspect may be in your community, along with providing instructions on what to do if you spot the suspect and how to stay safe.”
The proposal, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) adopted today, would amend the FCC’s EAS rules by creating a dedicated Blue Alert event code so that state and local agencies have the option to send these warnings to the public through broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline video providers.
While some states have individual Blue Alert programs that use various methods to issue these warnings, the proposal is intended to support the development of a national framework that states can adopt.
The NPRM invites public comment on the proposal.