STATEHOUSE — House Bill (HB) 1151, authored by State Representative Wendy McNamara (R-Mount Vernon), passed the Senate today with a unanimous vote. This bill creates a ‘Blue Alert’ program to be operated by the Indiana State Police Department (ISP). The concept of the ‘Blue Alert’ is similar to the Amber and Silver alert programs and is a national initiative that has already been adopted in over 15 other states.
HB 1151 – Blue Alert Program (Author: McNamara; Coauthors: Mahan, Pierce, McMillin, Goodin, Ubelhor, Bacon, Davis)
HB 1151 creates the ‘Blue Alert’ program, which will notify the public when a law enforcement officer is killed, seriously injured or missing in the line of duty. The Superintendent of the State Police will assign staff members to be responsible for the operation of the program.
“The Blue Alert will also alert the public if the criminal who caused harm has been apprehended or not – which will work to address public safety,” said Rep. McNamara.
The ISP will determine the geographic boundaries for the area of every Blue Alert. They will establish guidelines for the administration and operation of the program, including receiving and verifying information. It will be necessary for the ISP to adopt guidelines for the use of voluntary broadcasts of Blue Alerts by networks and electronic billboard operators.
“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day. Unfortunately when tragedy strikes, these officials pay the ultimate sacrifice. Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone affected by these situations,” said Rep. McNamara. “My hope is that the ‘Blue Alert’ notification system will add ease of mind to the brave men and women who serve, and to their families.”
HB 1151 will now be sent to Governor Pence for his signature.-30-