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FCC Proposes Blue Alert to National Emergency Alert System

WASHINGTON—The FCC wants to protect the men and women who serve in law enforcement and have therefore proposed the addition of a “Blue Alert” option to the nation’s Emergency Alert System. Blue Alert would be used by states to notify the public through television and radio of threats to law enforcement and to help apprehend dangerous suspects.

Situations that might be covered by these Blue Alerts include when there is actionable information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer. The warnings would potentially warn the public of the presence of a violent suspect and provide instructions on what to do if the suspect is spotted.

The FCC issued the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Thursday and if enacted would amend the FCC’s EAS rule by creating a dedicated Blue Alert event code for state and local agencies to send out through broadcast, cable, satellite and wireline video providers.

Some states currently have similar type programs, but the goal of the FCC is to support the development of a national framework that can be adopted by all states.

The FCC said in its press release that it invites public comment on the proposal.