Wireless Users May Eventually Receive Government 'Blue Alerts'
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Dec 15, 2017, 9:25 AM by Eric M. Zeman
The FCC has added a new type of alert to the Emergency Alert System that is specifically meant for law enforcement officers and other first responders. Joining the Amber Alert and Silver Alert, the new Blue Alert can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and request help in apprehending suspects. "Blue Alerts warn the public when there is actionable information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer," said the FCC. "A Blue Alert could quickly warn you if a violent suspect may be in your community, along with providing instructions on what to do if you spot the suspect and how to stay safe." Local authorities may send Blue Alerts through broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline video providers, as well as via the Wireless Emergency Alert system directly to consumers' cellular phones. The FCC said it expects it to take up to 12 months to implement Blue Alerts for the Emergency Alert System and 18 months to implement Blue Alerts for the Wireless Emergency Alert System.
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