MO Governor signs 'Blue Alert Bill' into law

(Source: CNN)
(Source: CNN)

MISSOURI (KFVS) - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed the Blue Alert Bill into law at the police academy in St. Louis.

The bill is designed to promote public safety and protect police officers.

"What this is gonna do is it's going to give other law enforcement agencies and it's going to give the public an alert so that if a police officer has been assaulted, we can act quickly and we can bring these cowards and these criminals to justice," Greitens said.

According to the text of the bill, the system will "aid in the identification, location, and apprehension of any individual or individuals suspected of killing or seriously wounding any local, state, or federal law enforcement officer.

The measure also enhances the penalties for assaults on law enforcement officers.

Jackson Police Officer Alex Broch said he knows his job is dangerous and is glad to know that if something were to happen to any of his fellow officers, information on a possible suspect would be readily available to everyone.

"I think it's a good step in the right direction in order to try and prevent people who want to harm us just solely because maybe we're law enforcement, no really having a reason but just maybe the uniform we wear," said Broch.

"This is real simple. If you hurt or attack a law enforcement officer in the state of Missouri, we're going to bring you to justice," said Greitens. "You're going to go to prison. And you're not coming out for a long time."

The system will be developed by the Department of Public Safety. At a minimum, it will include the Department of Public Safety, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Department of Transportation, and the Missouri Lottery. The system will also work to provide alerts to local law enforcement agencies and public commercial television and radio broadcasters.

Enrollment in the Blue Alert System is optional.

Greitens said, "I am so impressed consistently by the tremendous courage and abilities of our law enforcement officers. These are men and women who act often at great cost to bring peace where there's chaos, to ease suffering where there's hardship. They step into the dark to do dangerous work and we need to do everything that we can to support them."

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