In November 2011, the Governor signed into law the BLUE Alert Program (House Bill; 11-1036). The BLUE Alert Program is a cooperative effort among the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), local law enforcement agencies and the state's public and commercial television and radio broadcasters regarding the imminent danger posed by a suspect(s) who has killed or seriously injured a peace officer. The bill mandates the CBI be the liaison between the local law enforcement agency with the case information and the designated public and commercial television and radio broadcasters.
BLUE Alert History
From a historical perspective, Colorado is the 13th state to implement the BLUE Alert Program. Florida was the first state to implement this Program in 2008. The BLUE Alert Program is designed to notify the public immediately of the imminent danger posed by a suspect(s) who have killed or seriously injured a peace officer.
BLUE Alert Process
- Local law enforcement agencies, operating under their individual policy and procedures, involving an investigation, and upon verifying a peace officer has been killed or received a life-threatening injury and the suspect(s) have fled the scene of the offense may notify the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at the main number and request the information be conveyed for a BLUE Alert broadcast.
- The CBI will verify the accuracy of the information based on personal contact with a representative from the law enforcement agency. The verification of information provided by the law enforcement agency will include but is not limited to:
- Confirming the identity of the law enforcement agency and the reporting law enforcement official.
- All appropriate information the reporting law enforcement agency has that may assist in the apprehension of the suspect(s).
- Verify the information being reported meets the definition of “peace officer” and “life-threatening injury” as defined in the rule.
- The CBI will then forward the information on to participating radio stations, television stations, and other media outlets in Colorado.
- The BLUE Alert may be broadcast to the public as often as possible, however, it is recommended to rebroadcast every 15 minutes the first two hours, then every 30 minutes. The update of information is at the request of state or local law enforcement; this includes additional information, revisions, or investigative changes.
BLUE Alert Cancellation
The cancellation of the BLUE Alert broadcast shall be the responsibility of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The requesting law enforcement agency must contact the CBI designee to deactivate the broadcast once the suspect(s) have been apprehended or at the end of the determined notification period. Further, the CBI will notify the participating radio stations, television stations, and other media outlets in Colorado that the BLUE Alert has been canceled.
Purpose of the BLUE Alert
- To rapidly disseminate information about a suspect(s) to law enforcement agencies and the public when a peace officer has been killed or received a life-threatening injury.
- To gain the assistance of thousands of television viewers, radio listeners and partner organizations throughout the coverage area. Further, provide instruction to anyone with information related to the killing or injuring of the peace officer to contact his or her local law enforcement agency.
- A warning the suspect(s) are dangerous and members of the public should not attempt to apprehend the suspect(s).