Tuesday, December 24, 2013

AZ: Valley law enforcement groups tout Blue Alert system

Valley law enforcement groups tout Blue Alert system

PHOENIX - You've heard of an Amber Alert, the call that goes out when a child is missing. Law enforcement groups in Arizona are touting a similar system for officers called a Blue Alert. 

"John was a sergeant with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.  He was killed August 31st, 1990," his wife, Jan Blaser-Upchurch said.

Sgt. Blaser was killed by a drunk driver while on duty.

"The loss was tremendous. John and I had just celebrated our third wedding anniversary. He was 36 years old," Jan said.

His name joins dozens of others at the Arizona Peace Officers Memorial. His death inspired Jan to help others. She joined C.O.P.S., or Concerns of Police Survivors.

The group is teaming up with the Arizona Highway Patrol Association to bring Blue Alerts to our state.

"The information can get out there much quicker," Jan said.

It's a system designed to let people know right away if an officer has been hurt or killed and police are still searching for the suspect, kind of like how an Amber Alert lets us know right away about a missing child.
"As many of us know, communication is very different from agency to agency," Jan said.

The Blue Alert would erase the problems of communication barriers between departments, making it easier to catch the bad guys. It's already being used in 18 states.

"California is one, Utah and Colorado, some of our states right around us," Jan said.
She hopes this year our state lawmakers will give Blue Alert the green light.

Story by Elizabeth Erwin of KPHO-TV, ABC15

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