Tennessee Blue Alert
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began issuing Blue Alerts on July 1, 2011 as established by TCA 38-6-122, which required the agency to develop a system for the rapid dissemination of information to the public to assist in apprehending violent criminals who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers in the line of duty or to aid in locating a missing officer where foul play is involved. The program uses the statewide infrastructure of the existing AMBER Alert system to push out critical information to citizens to assist in locating a missing child who is in imminent danger. Blue Alerts are issued by the staff in TBI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, who after determining a warranted Blue Alert, will activate the alert on TBI’s website, E-mail law enforcement and media the details of the incident and activate the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Smartway Signs in the region in which the offense occurred. When TBI receives a request from a law enforcement agency that a death or serious injury of a law enforcement officer has occurred, administrators will ensure that the Blue Alert criteria has been met, then proceed to issue the alert.
All of the following must be met in order to activate a Blue Alert: (1) A sworn law enforcement officer is killed, sustains life threatening injuries or the officer is missing in the line of duty under circumstances warranting concern for the law enforcement officer’s safety and; (2) The suspect(s) pose(s) an imminent threat to public safety and law enforcement personnel and; (3) A description of the offender or vehicle is available for statewide broadcast to the public and law enforcement 911 centers. (4) Prior to activation, if the suspect(s) is/are identified, the requesting agency will immediately: Place the suspect in the temporary felon file in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Obtain felony warrants as soon as possible or within 24 hours and enter the offender into NCIC. (5) The head of any Tennessee law enforcement agency, Colonel of the Highway Patrol, Chief, Sheriff or their designee of the investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction requests the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to activate the Blue Alert system.