Blue Alerts: New NC system warns if officer hurt, suspect on loo - FOX Carolina 21

Blue Alerts: New NC system warns if officer hurt, suspect on loose

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The Blue Alert system is now being used in the state of North Carolina.

It's a system similar to an Amber or Silver Alert. It aims to get information out to the public as quickly as possible. The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons, which overseen by the State Highway Patrol, explained it pushes information out to the entire state if an officer has been attacked or killed and the suspect is still on the loose.

"State Highway Patrol telecommunicators will issue the alert along with a descriptions of the suspects and/or the suspect's mode of travel," said Sgt. Michael Baker.

North Carolina drivers can see messages on DOT message boards, hear warnings on the radio or see them on television if a Blue Alert is sent out. Fox Carolina spoke with Baker, a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper and the director of N.C.Center for Missing Person. Baker said it will be useful tool to keep officers more informed about a suspect with the public's help, as well as to keep the public safer. 

"We're using this tool to make sure they're removed from the road way and placed into custody before they have the opportunity to attack or kill someone else," Baker said. 

He explained the Missing Persons unit will oversee these alerts entirely. The information is not only a warning a dangerous suspect is on the run, but also a way to encourage people to report anything they hear or see. North Carolina is one among the 27 states to implement the blue alert; the list also includes Georgia and South Carolina. 

"We only have a certain amount of law enforcement officers working across the state, whether it be a local, county or state, we always ask the public to help us find these offenders," Baker said.

Hendersonville Police Department said it's a useful tool they didn't have before, that will put dangerous suspects behind bars.

"It's important that the public is involved in efforts like this, they're the probably the most valuable resource that law enforcement can have on their side," Detective Bruce Darrah said. 

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