President Obama has signed a bill that will become a law that will require instant nationwide “Blue Alerts” to warn about threats to police officers and help find the suspects who carry them out.
The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named for the two NYPD officers killed in an ambush attack in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn last year. Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot his girlfriend earlier in the day in Baltimore and then threatened on his Instagram account to kill police officers in retaliation for the recent police killings in Ferguson for the then recent killing of unarmed teenager Mike Brown, but that information never made it to New York.
“They were serving their community with great honor and dedication and courage, and all of New York grieved and all of the nation grieved,” Obama said in an Oval Office signing ceremony with the families of the slain officers. “It’s important for us not only to honor their memory, it’s also important for us to make sure that we do everything we can to help ensure the safety of our police officers when they’re in the line of duty.”
The law requires the Justice Department to create a notification system relating to assaults on police officers, officers who are missing in the line of duty, and credible treats against law enforcement. The system is modeled after Amber Alerts for abducted children and Silver Alerts for missing seniors.