ATLANTA (Feb. 16, 2009) – Senate Transportation Chairman Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) has introduced Senate Bill 397 behalf of the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police which creates a state-wide alert system to speed the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously injure local, state, or federal law enforcement officers. The “Blue Alert” bill was successfully passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee and will now come to a full vote on the Senate floor.
“I have a great relationship with the FOP and wanted to push through this legislation as soon as it was requested,” Mullis said. “If such a system had been in place yesterday, the person who committed this terrible act against Officer Vogt perhaps would have been in custody within hours.”
Similar to the Amber Alert Law, a Blue Alert Law would activate the Georgia Department of Transportation message boards and other state messaging systems to notify the public when a police officer has been killed or seriously injured and the perpetrator is at large
“This would be a great tool in apprehending criminals who assault law enforcement officers,” said Georgia FOP State President Carlton Stallings. “With the loss yesterday of Officer Mike Vogt in Chattahoochee Hills, this bill couldn’t be more timely.”
According to reports Vogt was fatally shot early yesterday afternoon while down Vernon Grove Road near Hutcheson Ferry Road in South Fulton County.
The State Blue Alert System has four criteria that must be met to be activated:
· A law enforcement officer must have been killed or seriously injured or seriously injured by an offender
· The investigating law enforcement agency must determine that the offender poses a serious risk or threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel
· A detailed description of the offender’s vehicle, vehicle tag, or partial tag must be available for broadcast to the public
· The investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction must recommend activation of the Blue Alert to the State Operations.