Schuitmaker’s Blue Alert legislation passes the Senate with bipartisan support

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Lansing, Mich. — The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that would protect the public and law enforcement after an attack on an officer, announced bill sponsor state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker.

Senate Bill 336 would create the Blue Alert system to inform the public of attacks on law enforcement officers in an effort to help apprehend violent offenders. Similar to an Amber Alert, a Blue Alert would rapidly disseminate information about an offender across television, radio and other media.

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “We owe it to them to see that their attackers are quickly caught and brought to justice.”

To order a Blue Alert, a law enforcement officer must have been killed or seriously injured by an offender, the offender must pose a serious risk or threat to the public and other officers, information about the offender’s vehicle must be available and the law enforcement agency must recommend activation of the Blue Alert to the State Operations Center.

“It’s important that we inform the public about attacks on our officers,” Schuitmaker said. “The Blue Alert system will allow for the swift apprehension of these violent criminals.”

In 2011, Schuitmaker sponsored legislation creating Silver Alerts, which broadcast information about missing seniors. The Amber Alert and Silver Alert notification systems have been very successful in helping to locate missing individuals.

SB 336 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House for further consideration.