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April 9, 2013

Grooms’ ‘blue alerts’ bill signed by governor

It would alert public if law enforcement officer is harmed or killed and suspect is at large

INDIANAPOLIS — Legislation that will allow for public notifications if a law enforcement officer is injured or goes missing was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Mike Pence.

Under House Bill 1151, a “Blue Alert” notification will be issued to the public when a law enforcement officer is killed or seriously injured and the suspect is still at large, or when an officer is missing in the line of duty, according to a press release. The Blue Alert program is modeled after Indiana’s AMBER alert for missing children and Silver Alert for missing or endangered senior citizens.

“Blue Alert programs in other states have helped law enforcement locate dangerous criminals who have caused harm to public servants and remain a threat to community safety,” said Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville, who co-sponsored the bill in the Senate. “This bill will help make sure Hoosiers have the information they need to be on guard and prepared in case of such emergencies.”

He said Indiana’s Blue Alert program would join similar programs that exist in 15 other states, including Ohio and Kentucky.

House Bill 1151 was unanimously approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate earlier this session. It will take effect July 1. The program will be administered by the Indiana State Police.

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